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3551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 27, 2008, 09:56:44 AM
Thank you Mark Levin on talk radio to opening my eyes to how leftist and truly Marxist BO is.  Unfortunately he speaks to the choir and the mainstream garbage media (who by the way is making fortunes on this election campaign by not doing their job) has ignored BOs hazy, fuzzy, past.

He obviously doesn't like our country the way it is or the principles it was founded on and kept it great for 200+ years.
Neither did/does his angry wife.

MSM did not do their job in getting his real past into the open.
He surrounded himself with radicals for one reason and one reason only.  He agrees with them. This is not rocket science.

I may be sorry that the Hill didn't win.  BO may just be far worse.

Ths country has fallen for him hook line and sinker.  Yet the country is right to be disgusted with the Republicans too. 

I can only hope it is not too late for McCain but it probably is.  The MSM and Academia who are teaching our young the propapaganda gobbly goop that the US is to be despised has contributed to this.





3552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 27, 2008, 09:35:51 AM
Thanks for the responses.  I think this is a fundamental problem for the Republicnas that needs to be addressed soemhow in some fashion before they can ever regain power.  Maybe we can come up with ideas.  WE need new leaders in the Rebuplican ranks.  Is anyone out there?

I am pleased with the bombshells on Drudge this morning.

I don't think most people in this country realize that BO is a marxist and a socialist and what they are actually voting for.

IF he gets in with full power in the House and Senate and can pack the court with judges who liberally interpret the constitution in ways that is not equal to all Americans we are headed for the end of AMerica as we now it and will second rate status.

As Mark Levin has apply put:

BO's philosophy is a form of reparations.  I don't think America really understands that and of coursse the mainstream media wants to ignore this in their hatred of Bush and Republicans in general.


I am terrified at the thought of a Dem controlled government with the likes of crazy loons like Pelosi and Reid, and BO.  I am terrfied for our great country and our future.   The younger generation has no clue what they are doing and who they are giving power to and what it means to their future.  As they said in ancient Greece - "youth is wasted on the young".

And BO will get everything he wants  with them controlling all of governement.  I can just hear it now - oh how he is such a compromiser and he gets all sides to work together - even though the Dems are ramming everything throught for hims with a helpless opposition.

Yes  - "clusterf..k" is right.

3553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: October 25, 2008, 11:59:58 AM
Crafty,
you keep responding to this with a comment agaisnt taxing the rich as have others on the board.

I am not advocating taxing the rich to give to those who don't contribute.

I am saying that there is a growing welth dipsparity in the US and if the Rebpublicans do not address this in some fashion they will continue to swim against the dmeographic currents and may never recover.

I don't want to punish succesful people.  Hell I would like to be one of them.

There has to be some other answer to this.

Ignoring this has resulted in the Demcocrat tsunami in my opinion.

The Republicans today are in part not those of 1980 because they tried no to alienate the "middle class".  They treid to reach out to Latinos and immigrants.  So they got incredibly careless with spending thinking they won't turn off the majority.

Well that didn't work, that didn't attract more voters.

They must rethink the whole thing out.

There must be another way to raise the living standards of the majority of Americans who are running in place and indeed slowly slipping behind while that has not been true for the rich..

They can ignore it at their own peril.

People I think are tired of REagan's mantra philosopy and ideals.  They want action.  They want results.
3554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wealth trends since the 1990s on: October 24, 2008, 05:08:32 PM
Well here is one source of what I am talking about.  I am not a fan or advocate of wealth confiscation and redistribution but there must be a fair way of getting the middle and bottom echelons to do better along with the top.

As Clinton used to say the problems in this world stem from the haves vs. the have nots.

Despite his tax raises he noted how the wealthy got wealthier faster then the others.
 
We may be seeing a "peaceful" revolution in the US

http://www.cbpp.org/4-9-08sfp.htm

*** All Reports by DateAll Reports by Date

A state-by-state examination of trends in income inequality over the past two business cycles finds that inequality has grown in most parts of the country since the late 1980s.  The incomes of the country’s highest-income families have climbed substantially, while middle- and lower-income families have seen only modest increases.

In fact, the long-standing trend of growing income inequality accelerated between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s (the latest period for which state data are available).

On average, incomes have declined by 2.5 percent among the bottom fifth of families since the late 1990s, while increasing by 9.1 percent among the top fifth.

In 19 states, average incomes have grown more quickly among the top fifth of families than among the bottom fifth since the late 1990s.  In no state has the bottom fifth grown significantly faster than the top fifth.

For very high-income families — the richest 5 percent — income growth since the late 1990s has been especially dramatic, and much faster than among the poorest fifth of families.

Similarly, families in the middle of the income distribution have fallen farther behind upper-income families in many states since the late 1990s:

On average, incomes have grown by just 1.3 percent among the middle fifth of families since the late 1990s, well below the 9.1 percent gain among the top fifth.  Income disparities between the top and middle fifths have increased significantly in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas.  Income disparities did not decline significantly in any state.

The benefits of economic growth were broadly shared for a few years in the late 1990s — the only period in the past two decades for which this was true — but this broad-based growth ended with the 2001 downturn.  Once the effects of the recession were left behind, the trend toward greater inequality quickened, as the incomes of the richest families climbed while those of low- and moderate-income families stagnated or declined.

Methodology

This analysis uses the latest Census Bureau data to measure post-federal-tax changes in real incomes among high-, middle- and low-income families in each of the 50 states between the late 1980s, the late 1990s, and the mid-2000s — similar points in the business cycle (“peaks”).

In order to generate large enough sample sizes for state-level analysis, the study compares combined data from 2004-2006 with data from 1987-1989 and 1998-2000.  The study is based on Census income data that have been adjusted to account for inflation, the impact of federal taxes, and the cash value of food stamps, subsidized school lunches, housing vouchers, and other government transfers, such as Social Security and welfare benefits. 

Realized capital gains and losses are not included, due to data limitations.  As a result, our results show somewhat less inequality than would be the case were we to include realized capital gains.

In this analysis, changes in income inequality are determined by calculating the income gap — i.e., the ratio between the average family income in the top fifth of the income spectrum and the average family income in the bottom fifth (or the middle fifth) — and examining changes in this ratio over time.  These changes are then tested to see if they are statistically significant.

States fall into one of two categories:  (1) those where inequality increased (that is, the ratio increased by a statistically significant amount), or (2) those where there was no change in inequality (the change in the ratio was not statistically significant).  It also would be possible for a state to fall into a third category — states where inequality decreased by a statistically significant amount.  In this analysis, however, no state experienced a decline in income inequality.
 


Specifically, real wages for low- and moderate-income families grew more slowly in 2002 and the first part of 2003 and then began to decline; on average, they are now the same or lower than they were in 2001.  The highest-income families also saw declines in real income during the 2001 downturn (due both to the broad sweep of that recession in the job market and to the loss of realized capital gains), but their incomes grew rapidly once they recovered from these losses.  The federal tax cuts of the early 2000s, which were targeted primarily on wealthy families, helped widen the income gap between the wealthiest families and those with low and moderate incomes.

An examination of income trends over a longer period — from the late 1980s to the mid-2000s — shows that inequality increased across the country.

In 37 states, incomes have grown faster among the top fifth of families than the bottom fifth of families since the late 1980s.  No state has seen a significant decline in inequality during this period.  Nationally, the richest fifth of families have enjoyed larger average income gains each year ($2,060, after adjusting for inflation) than the poorest fifth of families have experienced during the entire two decades ($1,814).

Middle-income families have also lost ground compared to those at the top.  In 36 states, the income gap between the average middle-income family and the average family in the richest fifth has widened significantly since the late 1980s.


Top 5 Percent of Families Pulling Away Even Faster

The widening income gap is even more pronounced when one compares families in the top 5 percent of the income distribution (rather than the top fifth) to the bottom 20 percent.  The higher one goes up the income scale, the greater is the degree of income concentration.

In the 11 large states analyzed, the average income of the top 5 percent of families rose by more than $90,000 on average.  (In three states — New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts — the increase exceeded $100,000.)  By contrast, the largest increase in average income for the bottom fifth of families in these states was only $3,000.  In New York, for example, average incomes grew by $108,000 among the top 5 percent of families but by less than $1,000 among the bottom 20 percent of families.

In the 11 large states for which this comparison is possible, the incomes of the top 5 percent of families have increased by 34 percent to 91 percent since the late 1980s.  By contrast, the percentage increase in incomes of the bottom fifth of families in these states ranged from no change to 20 percent over the same period.[1]


Wide and Growing Gap Separates High-Income Families from Poor and Middle Class

The resulting disparities between the incomes of high- and low-income families are substantial.

In the United States as a whole, the poorest fifth of families have an average income of $18,120, while the top fifth of families have an average income of $132,130 — more than seven times as much.  In 22 states, this top-to-bottom income ratio exceeds 7.0.  (In the late 1980s, in contrast, just one state — Louisiana — had a top-to-bottom ratio exceeding 7.0.)  The states with the biggest increases in income disparities since the late 1980s are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Alabama, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, New Jersey and Washington.

The average incomes of the top 5 percent of families are 12 times the average incomes of the bottom fifth.  The states with the largest such gap are New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, New Mexico, Alabama, California, and Virginia.

Similarly, income gaps between high-income and middle-income families have grown.

In over two-thirds of states, incomes have grown faster over the past two decades among the richest families than among families in the middle of the income spectrum — more than twice as fast, on average.  In the remaining states, incomes have grown at about the same rate for the middle and top fifths of families.

The states with the largest gaps between high-income and middle-income families are Oklahoma, Mississippi, California, New York, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, and Virginia.


Causes of Rising Inequality

Several factors have contributed to the large and growing income gaps in most states. 

Growth in wage inequality.  This has been the biggest factor.  Wages at the bottom and middle of the wage scale have been stagnant or have grown only modestly for much of the last two decades.  The wages of the very highest-paid employees, however, have grown significantly.

Wage inequality is growing for several reasons, including long periods of high unemployment, globalization, the shrinkage of manufacturing jobs and the expansion of low-wage service jobs, and immigration, as well as the lower real value of the minimum wage and fewer and weaker unions.  As a result, wages have eroded for workers with less than a college education, who make up approximately the lowest-earning 70 percent of the workforce.  More recently, wages have been relatively stagnant even for college-educated workers (up only 2.5 percent between 2000 and 2007), in part due to the bursting of the tech bubble, but also due to the downward pressure on wages from offshore competition.

Only in the later part of the 1990s did this picture improve modestly, as persistent low unemployment, an increase in the minimum wage, and rapid productivity growth fueled real wage gains at the bottom and middle of the income scale.  Yet those few years of more broadly shared growth were insufficient to counteract the two-decade-long pattern of growing inequality.  Today, inequality between low- and high-income families — and between middle- and high-income families — is greater than it was in the late 1980s or the late 1990s.

Expansion of investment income.   Forms of income such as dividends, rent, interest, and capital gains, which primarily accrue to those at the top of the income structure, increased substantially during the 1990s.  (Our analysis captures only a part of this growth, as we are not able to include capital gains income due to data limitations.)   The large increase in corporate profits during the recent economic recovery has also contributed to growing inequality by boosting investors’ incomes.

Government policies.  Government actions — and, in some cases, inaction — have contributed to the increase in wage and income inequality in most states.  Examples include deregulation and trade liberalization, the weakening of the social safety net, the lack of effective labor laws regulating the right to collective bargaining, and the declining real value of the minimum wage.  In addition, changes in federal, state, and local tax structures and benefit programs have, in many cases, accelerated the trend toward growing inequality emerging from the labor market.


States Can Mitigate the Growth in Inequality

Growing income inequality not only raises basic issues of fairness, but also adversely affects the nation’s economy and political system.  The country has now entered a new economic downturn — quite possibly a recession — and already there are unmistakable signs that low- and middle-income workers will be hard hit.  The uneven distribution of the country’s prosperity over the last two decades has left families at the bottom and middle of the income scale ill-prepared to weather this latest downturn.  While the recent decline in the stock market is affecting the incomes of the wealthiest families, they have more savings to cushion the impact, and, if the 2001 experience is repeated, their incomes will again bounce back strongly.

A significant amount of increasing income inequality results from economic forces that are largely outside state policymakers’ control.  State policies, however, can mitigate the effects of these outside forces.  State options include:

Raise, and index, the minimum wage.  Until Congress acted in 2007, the federal minimum wage had not been adjusted for inflation for almost ten years, and its real value had fallen considerably.  Even with the 2007 increase, however, the minimum wage is not indexed to inflation — that is, it will not automatically keep up with the rising cost of living — so its value will begin to erode again after 2009 unless Congress acts.  In addition, its value still falls well short of the amount necessary to meet a family’s needs, especially in states with a high cost of living.  States can help raise wages for workers at the bottom of the pay scale by enacting a higher state minimum wage and indexing it for inflation.

Improve the unemployment insurance system.  In 2007, the share of unemployed workers receiving benefits was only 37 percent — a sign that the current unemployment insurance system does not reflect the realities of work and family today.   The current economic downturn makes it all the more urgent that federal and state policymakers act to make more jobless workers eligible for unemployment assistance by modernizing the system.

Make state tax systems more progressive.  The federal income tax system is progressive — that is, it narrows income inequalities — but has become less so over the past two decades as a result of changes such as the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.  Nearly all state tax systems, in contrast, are regressive.  This is because states rely more on sales taxes and user fees, which hit low-income families especially hard, than on progressive income taxes.  (The income inequality data in this report reflect the effects of federal taxes but not state taxes.)

Many states made their tax systems more regressive during the 1990s.  Early in the decade, when a recession created budget problems, states were more likely to raise sales and excise taxes than income taxes.  Later in the decade, when many states cut taxes in response to the strong economy, nearly all chose to make the majority of the cuts in their income taxes rather than sales and excise taxes.

States now appear to be on the brink of another fiscal crisis, and a new round of tax increases is both likely and appropriate if the economy remains weak and the fiscal crisis deepens.  Economists recognize that tax increases and other revenue measures, especially if targeted to high-income taxpayers, can be a reasonable alternative to spending cuts, and can actually be less harmful for a state’s economy than big spending cuts.

There are many ways a state can increase taxes in a way that makes its tax system more progressive at the same time.  For example, it can reduce its reliance on sales taxes by increasing its income tax on a temporary or permanent basis.  If states instead turn to increases in sales taxes or fees to balance their budgets, they can offset the impact on those least able to pay by enacting or expanding tax credits targeted to low-income taxpayers.  For example, more states could follow the lead of the 23 states that have adopted state earned income tax credits.

States can also improve the progressivity of their tax systems by not enacting at the state level the corporate tax cuts included in the federal economic stimulus package and by restoring state estate taxes eliminated as a result of the phase-out of the federal estate tax.

Strengthen the social safety net.  Federal and state changes to programs that assist low-income families have contributed to the increase in income inequality in recent years.  While welfare reform efforts in the mid- and late 1990s succeeded in helping more families move to work, they often made it harder for very poor families unable to find jobs or work consistently to get income assistance — and intensive job preparation and training — they need both to make ends meet in the short run and to become employable over the longer period of time.

States can take steps — such as improving assessment procedures and establishing job preparation programs for those with barriers to employment — that will make their assistance programs more responsive to those at the very bottom of the income scale while maintaining the work-focused nature of the program.

States can also strengthen their social safety nets by providing low-wage workers with supportive services such as health coverage, child care, and transportation.  In addition, they can provide intensive case management and other services to help current and former welfare recipients maintain their current jobs, move into better jobs, or obtain the education and training needed for career advancement.

While these are all useful steps, state policies are only one of a range of factors that have contributed to increasing income disparities over the past decade.  If low- and middle-income families are to stop receiving steadily smaller shares of the income pie, federal as well as state policies will have to play an important role.

TABLE A:
TOP TEN STATES FOR SELECTED INCOME INEQUALITY MEASURES
 
Greatest Income Inequality
Between the Top and the Bottom, Mid 2000s   Greatest Income Inequality Between the Top and the Middle, Mid 2000s
  1. New York       1. Oklahoma   
  2. Alabama       2. Mississippi   
  3. Mississippi       3. California   
  4. Massachusetts       4. New York   
  5. Tennessee       5. Texas   
  6. New Mexico       6. New Mexico   
  7. Connecticut       7. Florida   
  8. California       8. Arizona   
  9. Texas       9. Louisiana   
  10.Kentucky       10.Virginia   
Greatest Increases
in Income Inequality Between the Top and the Bottom,
Late 1980s to Mid 2000s   Greatest Increases in Income Inequality Between the Top and the Middle,
Late 1980s to Mid 2000s
  1. Connecticut       1. Connecticut   
  2. Rhode Island       2. Oregon   
  3. Massachusetts       3. Oklahoma   
  4. Alabama       4. Maryland   
  5. New York       5. California   
  6. Kentucky       6. New York   
  7. Maryland       7. New Jersey   
  8. Kansas       8. Rhode Island   
  9. New Jersey       9. Washington   
  10. Washington       10. Mississippi   
Greatest Increases
in Income Inequality
Between the Top and the Bottom, Late 1990s to Mid 2000s   States Where
Income Inequality Increased Between the Top and the Middle,
Late 1990s to Mid 2000s
  1. Mississippi       1. Mississippi   
  2. Alabama       2. New Mexico   
  3. New Mexico       3. Missouri   
  4. Connecticut       4. Illinois   
  5. Indiana       5. Alabama   
  6. Illinois       6. Florida   
  7. South Dakota       7. California   
  8. West Virginia       8. Texas   
  9. South Carolina           
  10.Massachusetts           

Click here for PDF of full report.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

End Notes:

[1] An analysis of the average income of the top 5 percent of families was conducted for 11 large states that have sufficient observations in the Current Population Survey to allow the calculation of reliable estimates of the average income of the top 5 percent of families.  These states are California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
 
  To ask questions, or send comments, write to bazie@cbpp.org
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
820 First Street, NE, Suite 510
Washington, DC  20002
Ph: (202) 408-1080
Fax: (202) 408-1056
 

 
 
3555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Greenspan on: October 24, 2008, 12:10:56 PM
Isn't it refreshing for a high profile person to admit he made a mistake?

My opinion of Greenspan just went up ten fold.   Just a little honesty.  That's all it takes sometimes.   We so rarely get that from people we vote to be our "leaders".

Compare that to most of the coward politicians, Frank, Dodd et al.

3556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We need a new republican party on: October 24, 2008, 08:58:11 AM
I'm afraid the country isn't interest in all the philosophy we are throwing around this board.

I will state one more time that as long as the country's wealth keeps getting concentrated to a smaller and smaller percentage of the population we will get exactly what we are seeing.

The Republicans of 2000 and later are not the Republicans of 1980 for this very reason.

Unregulated trickle down economics does not work for the majority of Americans who are working 60 hours per week, two peopel per household pulling in money, savings rates of effectively zero, and people still can't apy their bills.

Comprende?Huh

Lawyers and philosophers can talk about ideals. constitutional abstracts all you want but the Republicans need to stop and rethink and retool what they are about.  Reagan is dead and so is some at least of his theories.
3557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 21, 2008, 08:47:34 AM
Why is it that JKF is remembered for only the "missle crises" and not the Bay of Pigs.
Wasn't JKF the skipper who drove his PT boat right under the bow of a Japanese destroyer?
Wasn't he the guy who first sent advisors to Vietnam getting us involved over there?
I remember my history professor in college saying he couldn't really conclude whether JFK was a good President or not because he wasn't President long enough.

But all that said, BO is no JFK. 
The Democrats of 1962 are not the Dems of 2008.
And at least Carter served in the Navy.
BO served in liberal academia and community organizing.

OF course we will likely have Joe the blowhard help him save us from foreign threats.
3558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 20, 2008, 02:06:39 PM
Watch them vote in overwhelming numbers for Barack Obama. He is their future

And that is what Rachel Maddow is all about - her agenda.
3559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 20, 2008, 09:45:47 AM
Crafty
Freki,
I understand your views.
Truth is neither of you get it.

Truth is the power wealthy people have at their disposal is unjust and there is nothing ordinary people can do about it.  That is the point. That is what you apparently don't get.

No I am not against a class of people.

And yes it is a problem when 1% of people control 90% of wealth.  You think that is good?

And yes it is a problem when 40% pay no taxes.

The answer isn't necessarily wealth redistribution which is not what I am advocating.
3560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Freki - thnx - for your response - c mine on: October 19, 2008, 01:53:47 PM
Freki,
I am not against acheivement but poeple of great wealth do without any question have the deck stacked in their favor.
They can pay for the best research, accountants, lawyers, PACS, political connections, hire people to research their competition, set up accounts over sea, use their wealth to attract people with all the clout, best connections to politicians, get inside information and generally bribe people to get whatever they want them to do.

People from this board and previous boards I have posted know how my wife and I have been the victim of people in the music industry.  My wife is a genius at writing music lyrics and she has for the last 10 years or more had them stolen in dozens of ways.
Policeman, lawyers, postal service, Fedex, UPs employees, lock smiths, bank personel, neighbors, air conditioning people, oplumbers, gardeners and on and on and on have been bribed to participate, look the other way or I guess be silent while they keep taking songs from our house via hacking into computers, bribing people with access or generally picking licks to get in our house.  Thes well financed and connected professional crooks from the top of the music business to the bottom have certainly done everything in their power from even letting my wife Katherine from even getting credit or maoney from even one song.

Almost every singer in the business has sung her lyrics and most of them claim they wrote it.  Bon Jovi, and you name them. 

You apparantly  have no idea what people with a lot of money can get away with the rest of us can't.

Neither did I till I saw the power of money first had as a relentless victim of it.  If you have something someone with this kind of power has, or you step on the "wrong toes" they will likely be able to walk right over you.

The rich who keep getting richer *is a huge problem*.  And yes they *certainly do* hold all the cards.
At the same time an increasingly growing class of people who seem quite content to sit back and let the rest of us who work hard every day and take care of their needs is *just as huge a problem*.

There must be some kind of way to balance both these extremes out but I don't know how.  BO is full of shit imo and will simply expand the probelm by growing the class of "what are you going to do for me group".
3561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yes I agree on: October 19, 2008, 11:12:38 AM
GM,
Yes, it is really sickening for those of us left of center to see the MSM blatant and unrepentant bias.

I get really angry when the leftist lawyers pour over Joe plumbers tax records and dig up some probably bogus BS that he has been neglegent paying $1000 in backk taxes like that is some sort of scandal or he is a criminal because he probably couldn't wade through the sickening morass of tax laws and may not have been able to afford an accountant's fees to audit his taxes.

Mind you that 40 or 45% of people in the US don not pay taxes.  Now that is a Goddam outrage!

How much was it determined that Charlala Rangel Owed?  The same guy who will have an army of liberal lawyers getting him off the hook (led by the honorable Mr. Lanni Davis).

Of course once the Dems solidify control of our government (not theirs) the Charles Rangel scandel thing will disappear from the face of the Earth (to of course the more important "issues" that face our nation) and he will be appointed chairman of several committess get honors for his service and possibly a Noble Prize (aka Pau Krugman, Algore, et al).

The Republican party is wasted.  Forget Reagan, Roosevelt.  They are in the past, dead and buried, and most people today know nothing of Rossevelt and are already too young to remember Reagan.

We need more people like Newt who can look to the future and start thinking a whole new strategy that will save our country that is not big government.  I just hope it is not too late by the time the libs have promised and given everything away to the lazy what is government going to do for me crowd.  All people must pay taxes - if even $100/year.

Yet I do also agree with the left that it is a gigantic unsustainable problem that 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth.  Even if that number is exaggerated it is probably something of that order and that is fu2345ck up. 


But endless and increasing give aways to those who take and do't create wealth is certainly not the answer.

6 to 18 months from now the giveaways will all be spent byt the 40% at the bottom and we will be right back to where we started.

I don't have the time to try to come up with the answer.  We need new blood and thinkers in th Republican side who can.

And fro God's sake we need candidates who can articulate and speak on their feet.  Not Bob Dole's, not George Bushes, and McCians.

IMO - The articulation skills of Clinton and BO were without a doubt the saviors of the Democratic party of the last 18 years. ( to the demise and chagrin of the speechless and hapless Republicans.

This must not happen again.

As for Sarah Palin - I feel she could have a great future if she gets the right handlers who sharpen her skills, base of knowledge and broaden her appeal to other women - althgough her stance on abortion remains an obstacle with many women.
3562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 18, 2008, 08:26:24 AM
It is truly amazing.  Every time I log on to the Yahoo web page there is another assoicated press article trying to make McCain look inept.  Now they criticize him for "Joe" the plumber.  And of course they dismiss Joe as not licensed.
Not once do we hear anything about BO's flip flops, his changes of opinion aka Clinton with direction of whatever the polls tell him to say.  Not once do we hear anything critical about him. 

Oh well.   WE are destined to be a weaker country I guess.  Yes in the beginning BO will look wonderful flying around with photo ops from adoring fans and foreingners who want us weaker.   I fear that by the time the majority of Americans have waken up it will too late.  The Republicans need new leadership and ideas and people who CAN articulate and can string the ideas together into some coherent strategy that appeals to more people.  The old conservatism is too simplistic IMO.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_s_search_analysis
3563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Coming Clusterfcuk on: October 17, 2008, 12:47:11 PM
And this is exactly what the American public has to be reminded of a hundred times a day.

That if McCain doesn't get in this country and our freedoms are gone for many years if not forever.

And that is also why the MSM fears the negativity from th Republicans - because they know this is true and they want it though most Americans I doubt do.
3564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 17, 2008, 08:30:57 AM
A recent ap/yahoo poll suggests that McCain "popularity" has dropped precipitously.

Frankly I don't believe it.  What I do believe is that this is propaganda designed to throw McCain off his negative attacks because BO is vulnerable.  The MSM can't have that.  Many want us to fall for the dishonest fluff hook line and sinker.
3565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Plumber Joe the greater man than the BO on: October 16, 2008, 08:25:02 PM
I love it - the new Republican party's hero

Joe the plumber.

I think this guy would be a instant shoe-in for a Senate seat from a red state. cool
He has my vote.

Lets see...

common sense logic
honesty
here is where I really stand
I support and talk UP my country
My country has done a great humanitarian service in Iraq
I believe in freedom from government tyranny
I don't like socialism

vs

intellectualizing
ivory tower I know what is best for everyone whether they like it or not
dishonesty
deception
pretend I am something I are not
pretend I am a patriot
I think my country stinks
I think my country is shameful
I need to bebuild our country the way I see fit

3566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Saul Alinsky influenced BO on: October 15, 2008, 10:42:14 AM
My thanks to Mark Levin talk radio host on 77AM dial 6 to 8 nightly for pointing this out.
1960's radical (unfortunately a socialist Jew aka Marx - since I am Jewish and disgusted whth these people) who started "COMMUNITY ORGAINZING" and whose philosophy is redistributing wealth influenced greatly the BO guy.
Some of BO's phrases are verbatum right out of this guys writings.  "They cling to their guns and their religion" is undeniably taken right out of Alinsky's writings.  To change those people you have to become one of them.  In other words to change conservative America you have to pretend you are one of us.  Thus BOs pretending to love and care for America and his hiding his past.

BO is a flaming liberal who will expand big government and change the freedoms that made and would keep this country great.  This HAS to be what McCain emphasize all Americans listen to Mark Levin - not just right leaning citizens like me.  And don't get me wrong.  Levin is not pleased with McCain or W for that matter but the alternative is in his opinion a potential disaster for the future and direction of this country.  I couldn't agree with him more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky
3567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 15, 2008, 10:31:36 AM
GM,
I have met Egyptian and Lebanese Christian Arabs who agree with what you say.  They tell me the Muslim Arabs are not tolerant of them.
Many hate the Hamas Hezballah and the Palastinians who are intent on making trouble for everyone.  They dislike the Arab Muslims in their own countries who are intolerant and control the Christian minority.





3568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Black antisemitism on: October 15, 2008, 10:27:12 AM
Well most of you have probably seen this.  I give credit to JJ only for his honesty in this matter.  Black anger and hatred of Jews and Israel is fron and center.  BO has surrounded himself with folks who feel this way.  It seems the only Jews he had surrounded himself with were far left radicals and socialists.   Yet the mess with economy is sweeping him into the white house.  If hillary was running McCain would be 15 points behind.
BO can faint distancing himself but I don't get any Jews who would support him.  Yes the "schlep to Florida" with this Sarah Silverman.  I hate to say it but some of these Jews make me ashamed.


****  Jackson: Expects Obama to stop "putting Israel's interests first" in making Mideast policy.

Last updated: 12:34 pm
October 14, 2008
Posted: 1:35 am
October 14, 2008

EVIAN, FRANCE


PREPARE for a new America: That's the message that the Rev. Jesse Jackson conveyed to participants in the first World Policy Forum, held at this French lakeside resort last week.

He promised "fundamental changes" in US foreign policy - saying America must "heal wounds" it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the "arrogance of the Bush administration."

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.

Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

"Obama is about change," Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."

Jackson warns that he isn't an Obama confidant or adviser, "just a supporter." But he adds that Obama has been "a neighbor or, better still, a member of the family." Jackson's son has been a close friend of Obama for years, and Jackson's daughter went to school with Obama's wife Michelle.

"We helped him start his career," says Jackson. "And then we were always there to help him move ahead. He is the continuation of our struggle for justice not only for the black people but also for all those who have been wronged."

Will Obama's election close the chapter of black grievances linked to memories of slavery? The reverend takes a deep breath and waits a long time before responding.

"No, that chapter won't be closed," he says. "However, Obama's victory will be a huge step in the direction we have wanted America to take for decades."

Jackson rejects any suggestion that Obama was influenced by Marxist ideas in his youth. "I see no evidence of that," he says. "Obama's thirst for justice and equality is rooted in his black culture."

But is Obama - who's not a descendant of slaves - truly a typical American black?

Jackson emphatically answers yes: "You don't need to be a descendant of slaves to experience the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society," he says. "Obama experienced the same environment as all American blacks did. It was nonsense to suggest that he was somehow not black enough to feel the pain."

Is Jackson worried about the "Bradley effect" - that people may be telling pollsters they favor the black candidate, but won't end up voting for him?

"I don't think this is how things will turn out," he says. "We have a collapsing economy and a war that we have lost in Iraq. In Afghanistan, we face a resurgent Taliban. New threats are looming in Pakistan. Our liberties have been trampled under feet . . . Today, most Americans want change, and know that only Barack can deliver what they want. Young Americans are especially determined to make sure that Obama wins."

He sees a broad public loss of confidence in the nation's institutions: "We have lost confidence in our president, our Congress, our banking system, our Wall Street and our legal system to protect our individual freedoms. . . I don't see how we could regain confidence in all those institutions without a radical change of direction."

Jackson declines to be more concrete about possible policy changes. After all, he insists, he isn't part of Obama's policy team. Yet he clearly hopes that his views, reflecting the position of many Democrats, would be reflected in the policies of an Obama administration.

On the economic front, he hopes for "major changes in our trading policy."

"We cannot continue with the open-door policy," he says. "We need to protect our manufacturing industry against unfair competition that destroys American jobs and creates ill-paid jobs abroad."

Would that mean an abrogation of the NAFTA treaty with Canada and Mexico?

Jackson dismisses the question as "premature": "We could do a great deal without such dramatic action."

His most surprising position concerns Iraq. He passionately denounces the toppling of Saddam Hussein as "an illegal and unjust act." But he's now sure that the United States "will have to remain in Iraq for a very long time."

What of Obama's promise to withdraw by 2010? Jackson believes that position will have to evolve, reflecting "realities on the ground."

"We should work with our allies in Iraq to consolidate democratic institutions there," he says. "We must help the people of Iraq decide and shape their future in accordance with their own culture and faith."

On Iran, he strongly supports Obama's idea of opening a direct dialogue with the leadership in Tehran. "We've got to talk to tell them what we want and hear what they want," Jackson says. "Nothing is gained by not talking to others."

Would that mean ignoring the four UN Security Council resolutions that demand an end to Iran's uranium-enrichment program? Jackson says direct talks wouldn't start without preparations.

"Barack wants an aggressive and dynamic diplomacy," he says. "He also wants adequate preparatory work. We must enter the talks after the ground has been prepared," he says.

Jackson is especially critical of President Bush's approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss," Jackson says. "Barack will change that," because, as long as the Palestinians haven't seen justice, the Middle East will "remain a source of danger to us all."

"Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims," Jackson says. "Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith."

Amir Taheri's next book, "The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution," is due out next month.***





 
3569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: October 14, 2008, 10:14:01 AM
The only outrage is from the RNC.   Silence from BO that has paid an organization to round up voters for Democrats.
You want to talk about "disenfranchised" voters.  What a joke. 



Vote drives defended, despite fake names
By Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer
In print: Tuesday, October 14, 2008


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer, but Orange County elections officials rejected his application, which had an ACORN stamp on it. 
 Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer.

Orange County elections officials rejected his application, which was stamped with the logo of the nonprofit group ACORN.

Tow truck driver Newton Bell did register to vote in Orange County this summer. In the hands of ACORN, his paperwork went through without a hitch.

Two cases, two outcomes, each with a connection to ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Nationwide, ACORN is a favorite GOP target for allegations of voter registration fraud this year.

That's not new. Similar complaints followed the 2004 elections. A criminal investigation in Florida found no evidence of fraud. ACORN even has a cameo role in the scandal over the 2006 firings of several U.S. attorneys by the Bush Justice Department.

Under attack again, ACORN leaders defend their work. Often, they say, things are as not simple as they're portrayed.

Take Mickey Mouse.

Yes, that's their logo. But they say their workers routinely scanned all suspicious applications.

"We don't think this card came through our system," said Brian Kettenring, ACORN's head organizer in Florida.

With more than 450,000 member families nationwide — 14,000 in Florida — ACORN is a grass roots advocacy group focused on health care, wages, affordable housing and foreclosure.

Bell, the truck driver, certainly, is more representative of ACORN's work in Florida than the cartoon mouse is.

This year, ACORN signed up 1.3-million voters nationwide and about 152,000 in Florida, mostly in Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. ACORN estimates it flagged 2 percent of its Florida registrations as problematic because they were incomplete, duplicates or just plain bogus.

That's enough to give headaches to election officials and to provide ammunition to Republican activists.

Brevard County elections officials have turned over 23 suspect registrations from ACORN to prosecutors. The state Division of Elections has received two ACORN-related complaints, in Orange and Broward counties.

ACORN wasn't active in the Tampa Bay area. Last week, however, Pinellas County elections officials gave local prosecutors 35 questionable registrations from another group, Work for Progress.

The GOP accuses ACORN of registration fraud all over the country. In Las Vegas, authorities said the group's petitions included the names of the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

"This is part of a widespread and systemic effort … to undermine the election process," says Republican National Committee chief counsel Sean Cairncross, who describes ACORN as a "quasicriminal organization."

No, Kettenring said, it's more like Wal-Mart.

"Some percentage of Wal-Mart workers try to get paid without doing their work or steal from their employer," he said.

Some ACORN workers, he said, have simply made up names.

Maybe, elections officials say, but it's still annoying.

"We did experience a significant amount of problems, enough that we did contact the group to express some of our frustration with their work," said Linda Tanko, Orange County's senior deputy supervisor for voter services.

ACORN's problems included applications with unreadable handwriting, missing information, signatures that didn't match those on file, altered dates of birth or Social Security numbers, applications for people already registered to vote and names that appeared repeatedly, often with different addresses.

ACORN said it terminates canvassers who forge applications. In Broward County, it fired one worker after he turned in applications with similar handwriting and brought the matter to the attention of the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Pay to gather registrations started at $8 an hour, and the goal was 20 signups per day. The organization did not pay by the signature or pay bonuses for volume. The organization also tried to follow up on each registration, calling the person listed to confirm that the form is accurate.

In most states, ACORN must turn in every form that is filled out. "We must turn in every voter registration card by Florida law, even Mickey Mouse," Kettenring said.

Well, not yet, said Jennifer Krell Davis, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State.

Florida does have a law saying third-party voter registration groups must turn in every form without regard to things like party affiliation, race, ethnicity or gender. So far, however, the state has not written the rules to implement it.

In Florida, ACORN is best known for its 2004 effort to lead a petition drive to raise the minimum wage. The FDLE looked into voter fraud allegations then and found no laws were broken.

ACORN also played a role in the firing of one of nine U.S. attorneys dismissed in 2006.

In New Mexico, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired "because of complaints by elected officials who had a political interest in the outcome" of, among other things, a Republican voter fraud complaint against ACORN, according to an internal Justice Department report last month.

This year, 39 members of the House of Representatives have asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate ACORN.

One of those, Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, also has written to supervisor of elections offices in Central Florida seeking "all ACORN-related registration of voters within the last two years."

Republicans also accuse Sen. Barack Obama of trying to distance himself from ACORN, which he represented in a federal lawsuit in 1995.

ACORN's political action committee has endorsed Obama, but the group says its voter registration efforts are nonpartisan.

And the McCain campaign's complaints now are puzzling, ACORN says, because two years ago McCain was the keynote speaker at an immigration reform rally ACORN co-sponsored in Miami. "In 2006," Kettenring said, "we were working together."

Richard Danielson can be reached at danielson@sptimes.com or (813)269-5311.



3570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Along the same vein... on: October 11, 2008, 12:33:44 PM
Another example of what a stupid leadership we have in this country and how we give it away is that the election is probably being influenced big time by foreigners.  BO's campaign is flooded with donations from foreigners.  How much is unclear but it is probably quite large.   AS Bob Grant the radio host from NY would point out here is an article to this effect.  He also asks that we contemplate why our enemies including Hamas and Hugo Chavez support BO?   Do I need say more.  Just like we *give* away citizenship to children born here of illegals we are giving foreing powers access to controlling our elections via small campaign donations that don't have to be reported.   We already know Chinese are funneling tons of small donations through surrogates.
God this country is going down the garbage can and even simple fixes can't get done due to politics, political correctness, and pandering for votes.     

Foreign Money FLOODS Obama Campaign

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:23 PM

By: Kenneth R.
Timmerman Font Size

More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't disclose.
And questions have arisen about millions more in foreign donations the Obama campaign has received that apparently have not been vetted as legitimate.
Obama has raised nearly twice that of John McCain's campaign, according to new campaign finance report.
But because of Obama's high expenses during the hotly contested Democratic primary season and an early decision to forgo public campaign money and the spending limits it imposes, all that cash has not translated into a financial advantage - at least, not yet.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee began September with $95 million in cash, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The McCain camp and the Republican National Committee had $94 million, because of an influx of $84 million in public money.
But Obama easily could outpace McCain by $50 million to $100 million or more in new donations before Election Day, thanks to a legion of small contributors whose names and addresses have been kept secret.
Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
Federal law does not require the campaigns to identify donors who give less than $200 during the election cycle. However, it does require that campaigns calculate running totals for each donor and report them once they go beyond the $200 mark.
Surprisingly, the great majority of Obama donors never break the $200 threshold.
"Contributions that come under $200 aggregated per person are not listed," said Bob Biersack, a spokesman for the FEC. "They don't appear anywhere, so there's no way of knowing who they are.
"

The FEC breakdown of the Obama campaign has identified a staggering $222.7 million as coming from contributions of $200 or less. Only $39.6 million of that amount comes from donors the Obama campaign has identified.
It is the largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002.
Biersack would not comment on whether the FEC was investigating the huge amount of cash that has come into Obama's coffers with no public reporting.
But Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for CRP, a campaign-finance watchdog group, dismissed the scale of the unreported money.
"We feel comfortable that it isn't the $20 donations that are corrupting a campaign," he told Newsmax.
But those small donations have added up to more than $200 million, all of it from unknown and unreported donors.
Ritsch acknowledges that there is skepticism about all the unreported money, especially in the Obama campaign coffers.
"We and seven other watchdog groups asked both campaigns for more information on small donors," he said. "The Obama campaign never responded," whereas the McCain campaign "makes all its donor information, including the small donors, available online.
"

The rise of the Internet as a campaign funding tool raises new questions about the adequacy of FEC requirements on disclosure. In pre-Internet fundraising, almost all political donations, even small ones, were made by bank check, leaving a paper trail and limiting the amount of fraud.
But credit cards used to make donations on the Internet have allowed for far more abuse.
"While FEC practice is to do a post-election review of all presidential campaigns, given their sluggish metabolism, results can take three or four years," said Ken Boehm, the chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center.
Already, the FEC has noted unusual patterns in Obama campaign donations among donors who have been disclosed because they have gone beyond the $200 minimum.
FEC and Mr.
Doodad Pro

When FEC auditors have questions about contributions, they send letters to the campaign's finance committee requesting additional information, such as the complete address or employment status of the donor.
Many of the FEC letters that Newsmax reviewed instructed the Obama campaign to "redesignate" contributions in excess of the finance limits.
Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can "redesignate" the contribution to the general election on its books.
In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as "Will, Good" from Austin, Texas.
Mr. Good Will listed his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You.
"

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.
In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.
Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 - still well over the $4,600 limit.
There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama's Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will's cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.
In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there's no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.
Similarly, a donor identified as "Pro, Doodad," from "Nando, NY," gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as "Loving" and his profession as "You," just as Good Will had done.
But in some of them, he didn't even go this far, apparently picking letters at random to fill in the blanks on the credit card donation form. In these cases, he said he was employed by "VCX" and that his profession was "VCVC.
"

Following FEC requests, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro in February 2008. In all, about $8,425 was charged back to a credit card. But that still left a net total of $11,165 as of Sept. 20, way over the individual limit of $4,600.
Here again, LaBolt pledged that the contributions would be returned but gave no date.
In February, after just 93 donations, Doodad Pro had already gone over the $2,300 limit for the primary. He was over the $4,600 limit for the general election one month later.
In response to FEC complaints, the Obama campaign began refunding money to Doodad Pro even before he reached these limits. But his credit card was the gift that kept on giving. His most recent un-refunded contributions were on July 7, when he made 14 separate donations, apparently by credit card, of $25 each.
Just as with Mr. Good Will, there can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed the contributions, since its Sept. 20 report specified that Doodad's cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $10,965.
Foreign Donations

And then there are the overseas donations - at least, the ones that we know about.
The FEC has compiled a separate database of potentially questionable overseas donations that contains more than 11,500 contributions totaling $33.8 million. More than 520 listed their "state" as "IR," often an abbreviation for Iran. Another 63 listed it as "UK," the United Kingdom.
More than 1,400 of the overseas entries clearly were U.S. diplomats or military personnel, who gave an APO address overseas. Their total contributions came to just $201,680.
But others came from places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, and a wide selection of towns and cities in France.
Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Unlike McCain's or Sen. Hillary Clinton's online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton's presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.
With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.
In July and August, the head of the Nigeria's stock market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. The events attracted local Nigerian business owners.
At one event, a table for eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000.
The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.
Concerns about foreign fundraising have been raised by other anecdotal accounts of illegal activities.
In June, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a public speech praising Obama, claiming foreign nationals were donating to his campaign.
"All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man," the Libyan leader said. "They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency..."

Though Gadhafi asserted that fundraising from Arab and African nations were "legitimate," the fact is that U.S. federal law bans any foreigner from donating to a U.S. election campaign.
The rise of the Internet and use of credit cards have made it easier for foreign nationals to donate to American campaigns, especially if they claim their donation is less than $200.
Campaign spokesman LaBolt cited several measures that the campaign has adopted to "root out fraud," including a requirement that anyone attending an Obama fundraising event overseas present a valid U.S. passport, and a new requirement that overseas contributors must provide a passport number when donating online.
One new measure that might not appear obvious at first could be frustrating to foreigners wanting to buy campaign paraphernalia such as T-shirts or bumper stickers through the online store.
In response to an investigation conducted by blogger Pamela Geller, who runs the blog Atlas Shrugs, the Obama campaign has locked down the store.
Geller first revealed on July 31 that donors from the Gaza strip had contributed $33,000 to the Obama campaign through bulk purchases of T-shirts they had shipped to Gaza.
The online campaign store allows buyers to complete their purchases by making an additional donation to the Obama campaign.
A pair of Palestinian brothers named Hosam and Monir Edwan contributed more than $31,300 to the Obama campaign in October and November 2007, FEC records show.
Their largesse attracted the attention of the FEC almost immediately. In an April 15, 2008, report that examined the Obama campaign's year-end figures for 2007, the FEC asked that some of these contributions be reassigned.
The Obama camp complied sluggishly, prompting a more detailed admonishment form the FEC on July 30.
The Edwan brothers listed their address as "GA," as in Georgia, although they entered "Gaza" or "Rafah Refugee camp" as their city of residence on most of the online contribution forms.
According to the Obama campaign, they wrongly identified themselves as U.S. citizens, via a voluntary check-off box at the time the donations were made.
Many of the Edwan brothers' contributions have been purged from the FEC database, but they still can be found in archived versions available for CRP and other watchdog groups.
The latest Obama campaign filing shows that $891.11 still has not been refunded to the Edwan brothers, despite repeated FEC warnings and campaign claims that all the money was refunded in December.
A Newsmax review of the Obama campaign finance filings found that the FEC had asked for the redesignation or refund of 53,828 donations, totaling just under $30 million.
But none involves the donors who never appear in the Obama campaign reports, which the CRP estimates at nearly half the $426.8 million the Obama campaign has raised to date.
Many of the small donors participated in online "matching" programs, which allows them to hook up with other Obama supporters and eventually share e-mail addresses and blogs.
The Obama Web site described the matching contribution program as similar to a public radio fundraising drive.
"Our goal is to bring 50,000 new donors into our movement by Friday at midnight," campaign manager David Plouffe e-mailed supporters on Sept. 15. "And if you make your first online donation today, your gift will go twice as far. A previous donor has promised to match every dollar you donate.
"

FEC spokesman Biersack said he was unfamiliar with the matching donation drive. But he said that if donations from another donor were going to be reassigned to a new donor, as the campaign suggested, "the two people must agree" to do so.
This type of matching drive probably would be legal as long as the matching donor had not exceeded the $2,300 per-election limit, he said.
Obama campaign spokesman LaBolt said, "We have more than 2.5 million donors overall, hundreds of thousands of which have participated in this program.
"
3571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 11, 2008, 09:13:09 AM
Doug,
I hear you, but please consider this,

Are there more small business owners than government employees, union people, and citizens who rely on government doles (or want more thereof) and immigrants who come in a jump on the dole bandwagon (of course not all of them - but enough)?  I doubt it.  McCain is preaching to the minority.  BO is preaching to the majority.   End of story.

I just don't think simply saying we need to cut taxes is enough with BO out there preaching his lies for months with "I am cutting taxes for 90% of the folks in this country".  I have yet to hear McCain or anyone else come out with enough of a response to that simple line that is going to turn the undecideds from the BO.  I did hear Dick Morris fianlly say something to this effect on O'Reilly the other night.  Whatever one wants to say about him, he is very nimble at adjusting the arguments to the polls.  McCains advisors or perhaps McCain himself still have not gotten it.
The BO campaign has done a MUCH better job of responding to and countering the Repubs arguments than the other way around.

Are there more small business owners than government employees, union people, and immigrants who come in a jump on the dole bandwagon (of course not all of them - but enough)?  I doubt it.  McCain is preaching to the minority.  BO is preaching to the majority.   End of story. 

McCain either better have a great case to squash the "I am going to cut taxes for 90%", and "what has been done for the last eight years is not working" arguments in this last debate or it is definitely over.
3572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 10, 2008, 04:35:46 PM
Crafty,

"Pathetic unprincipled populist pandering by McCain as he tries to poach on BO's natural turf.  It is no coincidence that he is diving in the polls"

I agree with you but this is how elections in the US in 2008 are won.
We have a gigantic class of people who rely on government, many who work for government, and have who increasing power at the polls.
It appears the only other option Repubs have had is to go negative and try to scare this gigantic "what are you (gov.) going to do for me" segment of our populous away from the Crat candidates who promise to rob the successful to give to them.

3573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 10, 2008, 09:51:55 AM
The problem is the WSJ and the others who point these things out are probably preaching to the choir who already know and believe this.

The MSM either ignores this or puts it on page 35.

To me the trio of Pelosi, Reid, BO seems like the US as we have known it for 200 years is over.
I do agree that it is a problem when the top 1% own something like 90% of the wealth.
And it is similary a problem when 40% of the population does not pay taxes.

Yet we never hear this.

Until this is somehow addressed this country will continue to be divided IMHO.





3574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doubt timing is a coincidence on: October 09, 2008, 07:39:56 PM
Another example of enemies taking advantage of our present weakness.

I guess they are watching the US election polls.  The guy McCain who said he would be Hezbollah's "worst nightmare" is probably not going to win against the guy who scoffs at being called naive or "Green around the ears" and  "we must not take the military option off the table" BO.

BO obviously instills fear into the eyes of our enemies. 
Putin probably is thinking he looked into the eyes of BO and sees a creampuff who caves in to any and all poll.  BO just goes with the flow.

Well who wants to make war when we can all just make love....
3575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: October 09, 2008, 07:30:47 PM
From Scott Grannis' site:

"The total loss from '29 to the eventual bottom in '32 was 90%".

Yes and the market didn't return to its 1929 level till 1954.
Lets see, in 2033 I would be ____ years old.  wink

3576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 07, 2008, 01:44:50 PM
Only the liberal media could come up with this crap about McCain.  The "maverick" label supposedly came from a couple of ultra liberal family members named Maverick.  So of course the logic goes, how dare McCain who is a Republican call himself one.  I recall the label was no problem when McCain was for campaign finance reform at a time when it would have hurt the cans more then the crats.

Leave it to the times to print this. 

By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: October 4, 2008
There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”

Skip to next paragraph
 
BRAND Samuel Augustus Maverick
But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.

Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.

This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.

Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

3577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: October 06, 2008, 04:48:09 PM
I agree with you.  It's just that it isn't looking too good for McCain.
So what else can I do if we are getting BO than hope he won't be the angry leftist minority guy once he gets into office?
3578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BO = Lincoln, I hope so. on: October 06, 2008, 01:49:46 PM
Well let's hope BO is the next coming of Abe Lincoln.  I think we need old Abe right about now.  (I'd rather not have FDR).

3579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 06, 2008, 10:01:47 AM
Doug,
Great post.  The bias is eaily there.  All these questions begin the premise that everything BO says is o target and the repsondent can agree or try to disagree.  I didn't watch the debate so I don't know but I would be willing to bet there were no such manipulated questions that could benefit McCain.

McCain was foolish not to demand she be withdrawn as moderator.

That all said, the Republicans tried and failing answer to economic woes which for the last 3o years, is deregulate, lower taxes is woefully no longer enough.  When 1% of the population wons 90% of the wealth in this country there is clearly something wrong.

The game is clearly corrupt and rigged.  I see it in the music "industry" which is nothing more than organized crime.

The Republicans fail to address this and until they do they will always be fighting the uphill battle. 

I have not yet heard one Rebublican leader address this.  Trickle down economics is *not* enough.   
3580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: October 04, 2008, 12:05:21 PM
***OTOH Katie Couric, give me a fcuking break***

Yes. Like these questions she gave Sarah:  are you for the morning after pill?
So are you for the morning after pill?  After a hesitation from Sarah, Couric asks her when do you beleive life begins?
Answer: "at conception"
Couric now having completed the ambush asks:  so again, are you for the morning after pill?

Wow Katie that is great journalism. rolleyes
My question to Couric:
Which crat operative gave you those questions or did you come up with that ambush all on your own?

 
3581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The "Executive physical". ahem on: October 02, 2008, 08:36:07 PM
Kind of funny actually.  From the new New England Journal of Medicine and very aprepo (sp?) with the times of public outrage against the corporate executive now demoted to the status below that of used car salesman:
 
 
****Executive Physicals — Bad Medicine on Three Counts

Brian Rank, M.D.
 
In corporate boardrooms throughout the United States, executives are wrestling with the management of health care costs. They are demanding health care services that are effective and evidence-based and that don't entail excess or unjust costs. They are meticulously assessing insurers and providers on all these counts as never before. And rightly so. There's some irony, then, in the fact that many of these executives leave these boardrooms for days at a time to take part in one of modern medicine's most expensive and least proven approaches to care: the executive physical.

If you want to have an executive physical (and have the money to pay for one), you won't have to look far. These services are marketed heavily by many of the country's largest and most highly regarded health systems and hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and dozens of others. Although the specific components of these programs vary, certain traits are common. Most involve a dedicated block of time — a day or two — during which the executive undergoes an extensive and comprehensive battery of in-depth medical tests and evaluations, with results made available immediately. Most such physicals are marketed as a yearly event. Most cost thousands of dollars and are not covered by insurance. Many of the centers that provide them tout an environment of exclusivity, personal attention, and luxury of the type one might expect to see at a four-star hotel or high-end resort. Those who undergo these physicals clearly appreciate the indulgent touches, such as complimentary bathrobes and slippers or the performance of the whole process in a so-called VIP area.1

It's easy to understand the appeal of the executive physical to companies and their executives. With executive compensation high and competition for top talent fierce, it's not surprising that companies want to do everything they can to protect the investment they make in senior management. Nor is it surprising that the executives themselves, with heavy demands on their time, would be drawn to the convenience of one-stop shopping, the pampering, and the peace of mind that the executive physical seems to represent. Like a four-star hotel, the executive physical is, at least outwardly, "the best" — just what executives are accustomed to getting.

It's also easy to understand why the executive physical appeals to the hospitals and systems that offer it. The physical represents an opportunity for the provider to show off its ability to serve high-profile patients with the most advanced testing available. It also represents a new and attractive revenue stream.

Nevertheless, in my view, the emergence of executive physicals is not a good thing. It's not good for the patients who undergo them, it's not good for the companies that pay for them, and it's not good for the health care system overall. As an example of progressive medicine, the executive physical fails on three important counts: efficacy, cost, and equity.

Inherent in the provision of this service is the notion that the most health care is the best health care. If a standard physical exam entails three tests, the thinking goes, then an exam with a dozen tests must be better. Similarly, an exam that takes 2 days must be better than one that takes an hour. Of course, there is no evidence for either premise, and indeed a growing body of research suggests quite the opposite — that unnecessary testing may cause more harm than good, owing to false positive findings, unwarranted follow-up visits and costs, needless worry, and harmful side effects of the tests themselves.

Consider, for example, the inclusion in many executive physicals of a computed tomographic (CT) scan of the heart to determine the executive's calcium score. Although most patients would probably find information gleaned from this examination interesting, it is rarely meaningful as a predictor of disease. In its current summary of recommendations, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concludes that the potential harms of routine screening for coronary heart disease in low-risk adults exceed the potential benefits.2

Among the battery of screening tools that executive physicals include with little regard to medical evidence are whole-body CT scans, electrocardiograms, and chest radiographs. As clinicians, we should be applying increasingly rigorous standards of justification and efficacy to every test we request for our patients. Our goal should be to limit tests to those warranted by medical evidence to improve health, lengthen life, and do more good than harm. The executive physical seeks, by its very structure, to broaden testing, under the false assumption that more is better.

According to a 2006 study by Wennberg et al.,3 evidence-based medicine does not play a role in governing the use of supply-sensitive services — services whose supply has a major influence on their use. Wennberg said of the study, "Three issues drive the differences in the cost and quality of care. Variation is the result of an unmanaged supply of resources, limited evidence about what kind of care really contributes to the health and longevity of the chronically ill, and falsely optimistic assumptions about the benefits of more aggressive treatment of people who are severely ill with medical conditions that must be managed but can't be cured."

Executive physicals also reinforce a related misperception — that costlier is better, that a $3,000 examination must be worth more than one that costs 1/10 of that amount. This is an indefensible idea that should not be promoted by the health care industry. Even as individual hospitals sell these services for exorbitant fees, gratuitously overusing our health care resources, our system as a whole is appropriately straining in precisely the opposite direction, toward cost-effectiveness, transparency, competition, and accountability. With its outrageous cost and unproven efficacy, the executive physical is almost a parody of the high-cost, low-return procedures that prudent companies rightly want clinicians to eliminate for other employees.

But perhaps the most lamentable idea perpetuated by the executive physical is the implication that some patients — namely, those who have the ability to pay out of pocket or with company resources — are more worthy of effective, respectful, and personalized treatment than others. Much good work is being done these days to identify and reduce health care disparities that are based on income, race, geography, or other demographic factors. The executive physical runs exactly counter to these efforts, suggesting that a company is justified in paying thousands of dollars to maintain the health of its wealthy senior executives while relegating the masses to something less.

As efforts to reform the health care system continue, the executive physical is a perfect example of what American medicine should be working to expunge: the expensive, the ineffective, and the inequitable. Perhaps if it didn't fail on all three of these counts, allowances could be made for it as a whimsical extravagance that satisfies certain people's need for exclusivity. As it stands, however, there is little to excuse it. As an industry, we can't expect to get credit for working to make health care affordable and effective for all if we're offering the "best" health care, for a price, to a few — when it isn't.

Dr. Rank is the medical director of HealthPartners Medical Group and Clinics, Minneapolis. The HealthPartners Medical Group does not have an executive physical program.

References


Brink S. For the busy exec, a $2000 physical. Los Angeles Times. February 18, 2008:F1.
Screening for coronary heart disease. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, February 2004. (Accessed September 12, 2008, at http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspsacad.htm.)
Wennberg JE, Fisher ES, Sharp SM, McAndrew M, Bronner KK. The care of patients with severe chronic illness: a report on the Medicare program by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. Lebanon, NH: The Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2006. (Accessed September 12, 2008, at http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/atlases/2006_Chronic_Care_Atlas.pdf.)

 The New England Journal of Medicine is owned, published, and copyrighted © 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. *********
 
3582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can McCain surmont the left media? on: October 01, 2008, 12:32:49 PM
Hey Doug,
I didn't see your post till just now and posted on the "media thread" a similar article about the moderator for the VP debate.

I coulldn' t agree with you more.  Of course she is a major BO fan.  She is not going to have a book about him if she dislikes him.

The media bias is so depressing as is the prospect of the far left controlling all three houses.

I just don't see McCain as having the persuasion skills to turn this around in the face of an obvious leftist and pro-BO media onslaught and unless Palin can come through as some sort of genius.....it looks like BO is our next President.  cry angry shocked sad 

As soon as he wins he will move left - far left. 

Funny thing, I don't blame W as much as the corrupt and totally failed recent Republican majority in the House and Senate for this debacle.  I don't know if the Republicans can ever win back trust and respect of the majority.  Too many of them on the take, bought out, just like the crats.

I don't even know who could have stopped the credit crises.  Even those who spoke up about FannieFreddie were up against a whole oraganized gang of theives bought out by the lobbyists that no regulation could have gotten enough wide spread support to pass it seems.

To watch Frank, Dodd, BO getting taking credit (the new talking points is that the newer versions of the bailout plan meet the criteria as set forth by BO - as if he had anything to do with it) is just nauseating.  Why Dodd had a sweetheart mortgage deal as did BO who became a millionaire after he became a Senator!  Yet the media is silent. 



3583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VP debate moderator is a huge BO fan on: October 01, 2008, 08:56:43 AM


 


I would give serious consideration to cancelling the debate if I were with McCain's camp.  This is really ridiculous.  I also noticed Couric's interviews with Palin are "gotcha" journalism.  Conservatives only voice is talk radio and a few on Fox - such as Hannity (who I actually think is way too partisan and "talking point-like").

ELECTION 2008
VP debate moderator Ifill releasing pro-Obama book
Focuses on blacks who are 'forging a bold new path to political power'

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted: September 30, 2008
8:35 pm Eastern


By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily



Gwen Ifill

The moderator of Thursday's vice-presidential debate is writing a book to come out about the time the next president takes the oath of office that aims to "shed new light" on Democratic candidate Barack Obama and other "emerging young African American politicians" who are "forging a bold new path to political power."

Gwen Ifill of the Public Broadcasting Service program "Washington Week" is promoting "The Breakthrough," in which she argues the "black political structure" of the civil rights movement is giving way to men and women who have benefited from the struggles over racial equality.

Ifill declined to return a WND telephone message asking for a comment about her book project and whether its success would be expected should Obama lose. But she has faced criticism previously for not treating candidates of both major parties the same.

During a vice-presidential candidate debate she moderated in 2004 – when Democrat John Edwards attacked Republican Dick Cheney's former employer, Halliburton – the vice president said, "I can respond, Gwen, but it's going to take more than 30 seconds."

(Story continues below)

       


"Well, that's all you've got," she told Cheney.

Ifill told the Associated Press Democrats were delighted with her answer, because they "thought I was being snippy to Cheney." She explained that wasn't her intent.

But she also was cited in complaints PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler said he received after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin delivered her nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this month.

Some viewers complained of a "dismissive" look by Ifill during her report on Palin's speech. According to Getler, some also said she wore a look of "disgust" while reporting on the Republican candidate.

At that time she said, "I assume there will always be critics and just shut out the noise. It is surprisingly easy."

Ifill, who also works with her network's "NewsHour," is making preparations to moderate this week's debate between the two candidates for vice president, Palin and Democratic Sen. Joe Biden.. She told BlackAmericaWeb.com she thinks debates "are the best opportunity most voters have to see the candidates speaking to issues."

She said she is concerned only about getting straight answers from candidates.

"You do your best to get candidates to answer your question. But I also trust the viewers to understand when questions are not answered and reach their own conclusions," Ifill told BlackAmericaWeb.

"Four years ago, when neither John Edwards nor Dick Cheney proved capable of answering a question about the domestic epidemic of AIDS among African-American women, viewers flooded me with reaction," she said.

She said she will make her own decisions about what questions to ask, adding "the big questions matter."

In the Amazon.com promotion for her book, Ifill is described as "drawing on interviews with power brokers," such as Obama and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

In an online video promoting her book, she is enthusiastic about "taking the story of Barack Obama and extending it."

It focuses on four people, "one of them Barack Obama of course," she said.

"They are changing our politics and changing our nation," she said.

On Amazon.com, Ifill is praised for her "incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama."

"Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history," the review says.

She told AP her view of Obama: "I still don't know if he'll be a good president."

She also describes how she met him at the 2004 Democratic convention and since then has interviewed the Illinois senator and his family.

She also boasted that by the time of the debate, "I'll be a complete expert on both" Palin and Biden.

The debate will be held at Washington University in St. Louis, which has posted information about the evening's events online.

Ifill's profile there describes her as a longtime correspondent and moderator for national news programs and includes her service as moderator of the 2004 debate between Edwards and Cheney.

However, there's no mention of her upcoming book. Nor does the website for the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is organizing the meetings of the candidates, mention her book.
3584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 29, 2008, 10:45:01 AM
***But the investment mistakes would surely have been less extreme, and ultimately their damage more containable, if not for the enormous political support and subsidy for mortgage credit. Beware politicians who peddle fables that cast themselves as the heroes***


Have you seen Pelosi, Dodd, and Frank come out fo their weedend meetings congratulating themselves and of course pointing out how *they* fixed Bush's bill?  And The two gentlemen praise the madam speaker on how *she* and she alone came oup with the solution to an impasse.

I doubt I was not the only one enraged by this circus.

The Financial mess is a Godsend for BO.   Perhaps Israel will not wait for the election to bomb Iran to try to focus the attention more on foreign policy threats and help (?) McCain.  Not that I think they should but just wondering.

While our country is distracted N. Korea is back to making bombs, Venezuela is now starting a nuclear energy program.  The timing is perfect for our enemies.  And best of all for them we have BO looking like he is going to cruise in and spend the next 4- 8 years weakening our country abroad.  But the good news is more of us will speak French and we will be loved by all.
3585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Blankley on the MSM's propaganda on: September 25, 2008, 03:32:58 PM
Tony Blankley is a reasonable guy in my opinion, but I couldn't agree with him more.  MSNB/CNBC have given up any pretenses of objectivity and are just propaganda outlets for the crats.  Tony is also correct about the Economist's review of the Freddoso book which actually surprised me.  I beleive the Economist pieces are almost always tilted to the left and clearly are wraped to the advantage of the crats.  So it very much surpirsed me when I read the piece on the Freddoso which essentially agreed that BO's ties with Ayers is a huge eye opener to extreme left this guy is coming from and how his handlers have reconstructed him out of thin air to be a reconciliator which is completely at odds with his political life.  As for BOs gaffs - yes generally not one peep from the MSM about them.   Hey did anyone hear Biden's comments about FDR coming out and speaking to the citizens of the US after the 1929 crash on television - before he was President and before TV was invented?  grin

BLANKLEY: Media covering for Obama
Obama remains unknown
Tony Blankley
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight out propagandists for the Obama campaign. While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08 for the first time, the major media are consciously covering for one candidate for president and consciously knifing the other. This is no longer journalism — it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Volkischer Beobachter cannot be far behind.) And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly and even half way honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs — the press.

The image of Barack Obama that the press has presented is not a fair approximation of the real man. They have consciously ignored whole years in his life, and showed a lack of curiosity about such gaps that bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct. Thus, the public image of Mr. Obama is of a "Man who never was." I take that phrase from a 1956 movie about a real life WWII British intelligence operation to trick the Germans into thinking the Allies were going to invade Greece, rather than Italy, in 1943. Operation "Mincemeat" involved the acquisition of a human corpse dressed as a Maj. William Martin, R.M. and put into the sea near Spain. Attached to the corpse was a brief-case containing fake letters suggesting that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece.

To make the operation credible, British intelligence created a fictional life for the corpse — a letter from a lover, tickets to a London theater, all the details of a life — but not the actual life of the dead young man whose corpse was being used. So, too, the man the media has presented to the nation as Mr. Obama is not the real man.

The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeats any McCain gaffes, while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Internet sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Mr. Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventual one or two clear sentences from Mr. Obama. Nor do you see Mr. Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the United Nations. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.

More appalling, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" suggested that Gov. Sarah Palin's husband had sex with his own daughters. That scene was written with the assistance of Al Franken, Democratic Party candidate for Senate in Minnesota. Talk about incest.

 
Democratic presidential candidate Sen.Barack Obama, D-Ill., greets supporters before his speech in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina on September 21, 2008. (UPI Photo/Nell Redmond)

But worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting, is the shocking gaps in Mr. Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply has not reported on Mr. Obama's two years at Columbia University in New York, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers— after which they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Mr. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Mr. Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks the media has focused on all the colleges Mrs. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago and the close criticism of Mrs. Palin's mayoral political opponents. But in two years they haven't bothered to see how close Mr. Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.

Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Mr. Obama's rise in Chicago politics — how did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great — and unflattering details on Mr. Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book, the mainstream media continues to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, the Economist, to give Mr. Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.

The public image of Mr. Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Mr. Obama, his publicist David Axelrod and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

Perhaps that is why the National Journal's respected correspondent Stuart Taylor has written that "the media can no longer be trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis." That conspiracy has not only photo-shopped out all of Mr. Obama's imperfections (and dirtied up his opponent Mr. McCain's image), but it has put most of his questionable history down the memory hole.

The public will be voting based on the idealized image of the man who never was. If he wins, however, we will be governed by the sunken, cynical man Mr. Obama really is. One can only hope that the senior journalists will be judged as harshly for their professional misconduct as Wall Street's leaders currently are for their failings.

Tony Blankley is a syndicated columnist.
3586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 23, 2008, 09:27:14 AM
BTW, yes and Greenspan has a new book.  I wondeer what Scott Grannis thinks of Greenspan.  I do not have the background to evaluate him one way or the other.  I would think he did his best and hindsight is always the best opinion even if it is right that he bears some responsibility for the present problems.   Gotta love all the political books that always seem to make the circuit just before a national  election.
The endless parade of Woodward books before every election is boring.

Anyway the main reason for my post:

Here it comes. The Hillary/Dem dream of socialism gets a boost. The end of our free capatilist system as we know it:
 
**** Sep 23, 2008 10:10 am US/Eastern
Sen. Clinton: 'No Doubt' Obama Will Win
New York Democrat Says Taxpayers 'Could Be Left Holding The Bag' With $700 Billion Government Program
Suggests Country Look At Some Great Depression-Era Type Of Governmental Entity
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she worries that taxpayers could be left "holding the bag" with plans for a $700 billion government program to stabilize the country's distressed financial markets.

Interviewed on Tuesday morning on CBS's "The Early Show," she said she agrees that the situation is critical and that something must be done quickly. She said, "the house is on fire and we've got to call the fire department and put the fire out." But Clinton also said that Congress should not "give the Treasury a blank check" to straighten out the problem.

"What we also have to do is make sure that homeowners get some relief, that it's not just for the banks and the lenders," she said. Clinton added that "we also must begin to look at the root cause of this, which is these mortgages that people cannot afford."

The senator said she didn't think all responsibility for solving these problems should be vested in the Treasury Department, suggesting that "once we get through this immediate crisis," the country should look at some Great Depression-era type of governmental entity to deal with it.

"If we just turn this over to Treasury, I worry about what the outcome would be," she said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

She blamed part of the problem on "predatory lending and subprime lending" in the housing market.

Clinton said Tuesday that Barack Obama is going to be elected the next president and that she has "no doubt" about it.

"Barack Obama is being advised by the same peopole who got us out of the ditch in 1993," she said. "I think our ticket is well-equipped for handling the mess that they're going to inherit. Let's make no mistake about it: this is going to be one of the most difficult presidential transitions."

Clinton also said that while she recognizes that race and gender play a role in the minds of voters as they make their presidential choices, she believes enough people want change from Republican policies to put Obama over the top in November.

On CBS's "The Early Show," she was asked what she thought about Republican Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy. She said she thought any woman is going to face certain issues and questions but that "the bottom line is who is on top of the ticket."

Clinton called Republican presidential nominee John McCain a friend, but said that he has a record of supporting deregulationof business.

"Barack Obama's going to win. No doubt ... if anybody looks at the mess we're in today," she said.

She also said that she thinks Obama is best suited to straighten out the country's economic problems.

 
(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)*****


3587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: September 22, 2008, 10:11:00 AM
***It would enable the Treasury, without Congressionally approved guidelines as to pricing or procedure, to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of financial assets, and hire private firms to manage and sell them, presumably at their discretion There are no provisions for — or even promises of — disclosure, accountability or transparency***

Well that would be nuts.  One could only imagine the billions that would be stolen.

 shocked huh angry rolleyes sad
3588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: September 20, 2008, 12:47:07 PM
Yes, it was about the hypocrisy of the politically correct media (synomous with "MSM" and to a large degree with the "left wing media").

I thought there was a political correctness thread.  Is there an easier way to find it rather than having to go throught all the thread headings.  Can on search for the thread title?
3589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: September 20, 2008, 11:30:55 AM
My point wansn't about silly legal subtles it was about the idea that its ok by the msm for people to make outragiously offensive remarks about whites, or conservatives or christians etc, but if low and behold someone makes the same type of offensive remarks against their favorite victims of the day be it gays, hispanics, blacks, jews, etc then it is plastered all over the news media and that person's career as a comedian is over.

What was the name of the Seinfeld guy again?  That was not pulbic airways and the msm furor over his disparaging comments about blacks ruined his life like it almost did with Imus who btw made.

BTW I am not, and never was a fan of Imus or Seinfeld or his colleague.  I am also not a fan of Jews who think it ok to have comedians speak like this in a Jewish Community Center and it is ok because it is about a republican or conservative who like I have posted before they despise more than Nazis in their misguided bigotry.

That said you can give me the "I don't aprove of ... humor", *but* we have freedom of speech in the US  all you want.  You won't change my outrage at this crap.  ANd don't think that lets them off the hook.  "Oh but it is their right..."  It doens't let you off the hook either, but I am not going to change your mind. sad
3590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / political correct? on: September 20, 2008, 09:15:12 AM
Remember the press expressing immediate and united outrage when anyone says anything nasty about blacks. What was that guys name commedian last year, or Imus, etc.

Lets see the outrage from MSNBC, CNN et al over this:

Sandra Bernhard: Palin Would Be Gang-Raped By Blacks in Manhattan
By Tim Graham (Bio | Archive)
September 19, 2008 - 07:59 ET 

The Washington Post isn’t the only daily D.C. newspaper to rave about Sandra Bernhard’s anti-Palin ranting. Wednesday’s Washington Examiner joined in, with the headline "Comedienne delivers enraged optimism." Barbara Mackay claimed "in the end, oddly and subtly, Bernhard’s message is positive."

That’s not the impression you’d get from the blog of Theater J, where Bernhard is appearing. It has video of Bernhard calling Palin "Uncle Women," a "turncoat b—h" and a "whore." One complaint on the blog that Bernhard crosses a line of political incorrectness draws a defense from Ari Roth of Theater J that really drops the curtain on how coarse this show is:

In fact, the play wears its politically VERY correct heart on its sleeve with its indictment of America as "A Man’s World, It’s a White Man’s World, It’s a F–ked Up White Man’s Racist World" and can only be suggested to be racist in its content if one is hell-bent on protecting White Folk for Sandra’s blistering indictment.When Sandra warns Sarah Palin not to come into Manhattan lest she get gang-raped by some of Sandra’s big black brothers, she’s being provocative, combative, humorous, and yes, let’s allow, disgusting.

The fact that the show has a few riffs like this does not — to my mind — make it a "disgusting show." there’s too much beauty, variety, vitality, and intelligence to label the entire show as "disgusting." I’ll agree with you that we produced this show because we did find it to be edgy — because we wanted to give right wing conservative Jews a good run for their money by being on the receiving end of some blistering indictments from Sandra.Does it go over the edge sometimes? On the gang-rape joke, yes. Sure. Not much else. It goes over the edge and then comes right back to the cutting edge. [Profanity editing is mine.]


Forgive me if gang-rape jokes don't greet my ears as oddly and subtly positive, as the Examiner suggests, and forgive me if gang-rape jokes aren't "a rotating sprinkler that a spectator washes in most happily," like the Washington Post insists.

Roth insisted to the complainer that the D.C. Jewish Community Center is loving their Bernhard show, and partied with Bernhard on opening night. They’re in tune with her right-bashing rage:

We’re proud of our producing -- proud of Sandra’s sense of timing -- taking the fight out to the house and to the street beyond, channeling so much of our rage and frustration at the bizarre recent twists of fortune since Karl Rove trotted out Sarah Palin for John McCain to briefly meet and then get in bed with.Sandra’s face is hanging 10 feet tall in a banner over the DCJCC steps and we’re proud that she’s a new emblem and ambassador for our theater and our center. She’s not the only one who represents us. But her large heart, her generous talent, and her big mouth are all a big part of who we are.


"Who we are" at this theater clearly isn't someone who's interesting in presenting anything other than rage. The video itself, presented like a commercial for the show, explains who the show is intended to please. The average person probably wouldn’t find it the least bit funny. But if you really, really hate Sarah Palin or Christian conservatives, this show is for you. Here’s some of what she says in the promo:

Now you got Uncle Women, like Sarah Palin, who jumps on the s--t and points her fingers at other women. Turncoat b---h! Don’t you f--kin’ reference Old Testament, bitch! You stay with your new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t! Don’t you touch my Old Testament, you b---h! Because we have left it open for interpre-ta-tion! It is no longer taken literally! You whore in your f--kin' cheap New Vision cheap-ass plastic glasses and your [sneering voice] hair up. A Tina Fey-Megan Mullally brokedown bulls--t moment.


Is it too broad an interpretation to suggest that when Bernhard attacks Palin's "new Goyish crappy shiksa funky bulls--t," she means the New Testament? It sounds like she's telling the Christian to stay away from "her" Old Testament, as if Christians don't have an Old Testament in their Bible. It's quite clear that the D.C. Jewish Community Center is not attempting an interfaith dialogue with this rantfest.

Here is the video. Decide for yourself:


—Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center


         
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Rant
September 19, 2008 - 08:06 ET by Texndoc
Is there anyone who supports Obama who could read this and think to themselves :"Wow, this only means good things down the road!" ?   I suggest the "she's a Rove plant" defense.  Her and her pal Madonna.

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sicko
September 19, 2008 - 08:16 ET by Burgher
This says more about her 'brothers' in Manhattan than is does about Gov. Palin.

Berntard is derainged, her hatred of all things consevative ( and possibly good) has blackened her soul. I see no redeaming quilities in someone who would wish violent sexual violation on anyone.

Hide the scissors she may hurt herself.

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This says more about her
September 19, 2008 - 09:26 ET by DontFeedTheTrolls
This says more about her 'brothers' in Manhattan than is does about Gov. Palin.


Actually, I think this says more about Bernhard and what, exactly, she thinks of blacks, i.e., they are violent criminals. Must be her circle of friends.

D

Keep the ILLEGALS out, join NumbersUSA to send free faxes to your reps.

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"Comedy" :  The genre
September 19, 2008 - 08:14 ET by motherbelt
"Comedy" :  The genre  that gives liberals the artistic license to say vicious things about conservatives that, if reversed, would be called "hate speech."

Sandra Bernhard is not, and never has been, funny. But then again, liberal humor never is.

When Don Rickles made fun of everyone, everyone knew he was a good guy underneath, so they laughed with him.

These liberal comedians today do nothing more than spew schoolyard taunts and ridicule at others.

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ARTISTIC LICENCE...
September 19, 2008 - 08:48 ET by danybhoy
mb,

1st things 1st, I lve Don Rickles, he is still 1 of the funniest people I have ever seen, on TV anyway.

As for Sandy Bernhard, she is a liberal trapped by classic racial & gender stereotypes.  Bernhard seems to think that black guys are into gang rape, I would think the NAACP would be axing her for an explanation. They should be, but I won't hold my breath.

I believe we have been given a look into Sandra Bernhard's true views & beliefs. She seems to hate herself for being a white chick, & has a thing about gang rape with a racial component. Quit while you are behind Sandy , YOU ARE PROJECTING. Now go away.

 

"...it's still We The People, Right?"  Megadeth 

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Speaking of racist
September 19, 2008 - 09:16 ET by general company
Good grief this woman insults every Blackman, and will probably recieve praise for it. Maybe she is jealous, Sahra has a great family a good man and all she has is her hate. Never could understand what Dave saw in her, she has always been gross. 

 

"Television is a freak show" Bernie Goldberg

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Bernhard?
September 19, 2008 - 08:27 ET by Kirk Turner
Insulting conservatives is a time-honored method for failing stars to rejuvenate their careers. Nothing could be more definitive of the values of left-wing culture in America. They are mean-spirited, small-minded losers.

Sandra Bernhard is no-talent never-was hack who became famous for a few appearances on Letterman in the 80s. She keeps her name in the news by doing outrageous things every so often because "the talent thing" never worked for her.

Ignore her and she'll go away--it is our outrage that keeps her alive.

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Geez!! I didn't know
September 19, 2008 - 08:38 ET by MrDebater
Sarah was still alive. I thought she fell into a black hole of irrelevancy 25 years ago. I guess it took her all that time to figure out that she could resurrect herself by bashing conservatives...that's always a career booster! I guess being a dopey lesbian pig has lost it's glamour...since being gay is no longer "edgy".

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Sandra Berhardt is yet another atheist low-life
September 19, 2008 - 08:39 ET by c5then
She doesn't practice her supposed religion, she uses it to get into places that otherwise would shun her. The only thing "jewish" about her is her poor humiliated parents. As far as her embracing the Tanak, she's probably a modern day YezahBa'al.

But more to the point, she is laughed at as much or more then she is laughed with. As far as clout and authority, she has none. Whatever she says has to be vile and disgusting just to get any notice at all, because otherwise she is completely irrelevant.

 

You want change? Give me a dollar.

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Hmmm...what about Black Men Raping White Women?
September 19, 2008 - 08:39 ET by Guy Arthur Thomas
Never minding Bernhard's comments that if made by a conservative the Axis Media (comprising the old and new liberal establishment of Print, Television and Internet) would of course found this racist and enter Spike Lee.

But what provokes such thoughts in Bernhard? Even the absurd oft is born in some element of reality. What about BLACK MEN RAPING WHITE WOMEN?

What are the statistics of:

Of All White Women Raped, What Percent Are Raped By Blacks?

Of All Black Women Raped, What Percent Are Raped By Whites?

Maybe it is an unpleasant question but one must be bold enough to discover where Bernhard derived such a concept.

The answer to terrorism IS war. Next Please!

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The "Borking" of Palin
September 19, 2008 - 08:52 ET by ahusser
Aside from the obvious viciousness and offensiveness of what's her name's remarks the "Borking" of Palin continues unabated. Palin really struck a nerve in the dim camp. The drooling hyperbolic hysterical frenzy of spewed filth and hatred towards Palin has reached a fever pitch. Haven't seen such lefty fireworks since the nomination hearings of Clarence Thomas. You can tell when the dims are scared because the spew meter is off the charts. 

"...no civilization, no matter how rich, no matter how refined, can long survive once it loses the power to meet force with equal or superior force." - Bernard Knox

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What a foul mouthed female
September 19, 2008 - 08:58 ET by Clear thinker
What a foul mouthed female cretin, trying desperately to get attention.

Sandra B. is NOT the kind of woman that feminists want representing them. Oooops, my mistake, I think she is the perfect example.

Don't worry Gov. Palin you are miles ahead of this woman in class, intelligence, integrity, and morality, so Sandra should be a ZERO threat to you. 

Hate Rush Limbaugh Week - Again

 

 

Making Fun of AGW http://giovanniworld.wordpress.com/   

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Aye, seems this wench has
September 19, 2008 - 08:59 ET by Hero Squad
Aye, seems this wench has been sippin' a bit too much of the grog, and is speaking out of her hornpipe, just to appeal to the lowest bilge rats in the galley. Arrgh!

*****

"Rapscallions only be insistin' that a scrum be halted when they are afraid of walking the plank if it continues." - Cap'n George Will 

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LOL! 'Tis slipped my mind
September 19, 2008 - 09:30 ET by Mean Gene Dr. Love
LOL!

'Tis slipped my mind that today is international talk like a pirate day! Arrr! I'll be gettin' 50 lashes wit a cat-o-nine tail for that one!

"An armed society be a polite society. Manners be good when one may have t' aft up his acts with his life." --Midshipman Robert A. Heinlein, "Beyond This Horizon", 1942

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Those Jews will be laughing....
September 19, 2008 - 09:00 ET by sjanus11
At the D.C. Jewish Community center even more when Isreal is whiped off map   Woaaa good one, barry nice talking ya did there. Fortunatly, that's just a visit from barry future, When Sen Glenn and Gov Palin Win, The Isreal , Iran problem will already be taken care of, Mark my words, Isreal is gonna act before election to take out Nuke sites on the of chance barry actually wins,. You did see recent sale of ours to Israel of smaller Bunker Busters, which are very acurate, And Isreal has plenty of Big Bunker busters, Or hell once the shell has been cracked , just a couple of well Placed Tactical Nukes would put there enrichment back 10 yrs.,,, Big boom, lot's of smoke, and fire, Old bearded ones say hey candle light not so bad....Please stop bombing us           Steve

 

"If your 20 and not a Liberal, You have no Heart. If you are 40 and not a Conservative, You have no Brain"    Sir Winston Churchhill

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So, the Left is now pro-rape?
September 19, 2008 - 09:03 ET by lotr
So, am I to take it that the Left (including the Democratic Party) is now pro-rape?

I guess it's a good thing that Palin is pro-gun.

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rape issue
September 19, 2008 - 09:06 ET by Agnostic
Don't forget the media just attacked Gov Palin a few days ago for having a weak stand against rape problems in Alaska. A statement like this even if condemned could bring that issue more publicity.

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The marquee outside Theater
September 19, 2008 - 09:07 ET by BuxomAnnieMcGreggor
The marquee outside Theater J must read something like... "Come see BANGIN' DAMN UGLY on display!" ...ask about senior and gang rapist discounts.

 

 

"We retort..... you decide."

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You know what they say ...
September 19, 2008 - 09:08 ET by 10ksnooker
You can't rape a 38.

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NOW is the time to discuss
September 19, 2008 - 09:14 ET by billb
NOW is the time to discuss the pig/lipstick controversy!

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Jewish slapstick!
September 19, 2008 - 09:26 ET by Kansasgirl
Wow, libs really love to hate.

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I think, in keeping with
September 19, 2008 - 09:29 ET by DontFeedTheTrolls
I think, in keeping with the sensationalism evident in the MSM, the headline should read:

Prominent Democrat Says 'Obama Should Rape Palin'

D

Keep the ILLEGALS out, join NumbersUSA to send free faxes to your reps.

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A Mirror Image
September 19, 2008 - 09:36 ET by TakeaRight
Look into her face, Democrats, and there you will see yourselves. Sandra Bernhard is a portrait of the modern American liberal.

Are you proud?

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Sandra who?
September 19, 2008 - 09:32 ET by HockeyKid
Sandra who?

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"in the end, oddly and subtly, Bernhard’s message is positive."
September 19, 2008 - 09:33 ET by JohnMcGrew
Excuse me?  Never before could I imagine that gang rape could be spun as a "positive" message.  If anyone on the right dared utter such a thing, there'd be demonstrations demanding a "hate crime" procecution.

Thank you, and keep it up Sandra and friends in the media. It's stuff like this that's causing the likelyhood of an Obama administration to evaporate more daily.

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3591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / SG site on: September 19, 2008, 06:37:58 PM
Crafty,

Thanks nice site.

It is laid out a little like DGs site.   I guess I should have listened to Scott two days ago and bought a liitle more.

 cry
3592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 16, 2008, 09:11:53 AM
Well here is that Cutler guy again.   Does one find it interesting he is a 'Harvard economist' advising how health care should be distributed?  I am sure he is a die hard political neutral (sarcasm emphasized).  From New England Journal on Cutler and the rest of the "experts".   BTW, remember "prevention" is not always synonomous with lower costs.   

***Volume 359:1085-1087  September 11, 2008  Number 11
 Next
 
Speaking Truth to Power — The Need for, and Perils of, Health Policy Expertise in the White House

Jacob S. Hacker, Ph.D.
 
 President Harry Truman once famously wished for a one-handed economist, because the ones advising him were forever saying, "On the one hand . . . but on the other hand. . . ." President George W. Bush went one appendage further: "If [these economists] had three hands they'd say, on the one hand, on the other hand, and then on the third hand."1 Yet presidents keep coming back to economists and other policy experts, especially in the fiendishly complex field of health care. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama leans on Harvard economist David Cutler; his larger stable of health advisers includes Austin Goolsbee and Jason Furman, both economists. Republican John McCain relies on economics Ph.D. Gail Wilensky, as well as on the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, another economist.

Economists are not, of course, the only experts to which presidents and presidential aspirants turn. On health care, Obama and McCain are advised by lawyers, doctors, holders of public-policy degrees, and the occasional noneconomist social scientist. What remains constant is the role these advisers occupy, a role awash in ambiguity, opportunity, and risk. The adviser is the president's ally — in the lingo of organizational economics, an "agent" serving the interests of a "principal." Yet as a bearer of specialized knowledge, the adviser is also responsible to a larger profession, to its values and commitments, and ultimately to the ideal of expertise itself.

The adviser, in short, must both "speak truth to power" and aid in the exercise of power, both offering unbiased intelligence and acting as a very biased assistant. It is fashionable to pretend these two roles are the same, but they are not. An expert adviser has special knowledge, training, and skills — all of which are needed more than ever in the White House. The question is whether these talents can really be used, or be useful, in the bare-knuckles world of American politics — and, more important, whether the values they embody can be upheld when science, advocacy, and democracy collide.

Consider the travails of noted health policy expert Len Nichols. As Hillary Clinton battled for the Democratic nomination, Nichols joined a conference call for reporters set up by her campaign. The topic was an Obama advertisement charging that Clinton would force people to buy insurance "even if they can't afford it." On the call, Nichols likened the ad to "having Nazis march through Skokie" — a depiction the Clinton campaign immediately disavowed. Shortly thereafter, Nichols apologized for letting his "passions" overwhelm him. The head of the New America Foundation, where Nichols works, declared his comments "regrettable," not least because the foundation "does not endorse or advise any campaign in an official capacity."2

Nichols's sin — besides the obvious rhetorical offense — was to cross the line between expert and partisan. Politics is about power more than truth, about winning more than being right. But expertise is about truth more than power, and being right is the whole point. The authority of the expert cannot survive long when expert judgment is seen to hinge on grudges or biases. The abiding concern of the expert adviser is how to maintain independence while acting as a faithful ally and advocate — how to make power serve truth while still serving the principal.

Yet the greater, and more vexing, problem is far less recognized: the limits of expertise itself. When the Clinton administration's health plan died in 1994, many dismissed its health policy advisers as naive. And yet the closest of these advisers were not just highly regarded health policy experts, they were some of the most knowledgeable the White House has ever seen. Paul Starr, who had masterfully dissected the past failure of national health insurance, left Princeton to help write the plan. Scores of other experienced policy gurus — including Len Nichols — lent their wisdom. Even Ira Magaziner, the much-maligned policy wonk who oversaw the president's gargantuan health care task force, had more than a passing familiarity with health and economic policy. All of them had studied the lessons of history — and ended up repeating them anyway.

The modern presidency demands expertise. The rise of a massive, interconnected executive branch, the ever-increasing complexity of public policy, the "permanent campaigns" of contemporary elections, with their endless issues, talking points, and proposals — all make the president's job as much about fostering and managing competing information streams and creating communities of allied expertise as about fulfilling the authoritative role President Bush evocatively termed "the decider." Contemplating Dwight Eisenhower's arrival, Harry Truman foresaw the challenge for the former general as presidential impotence: "He'll sit here, and he'll say, `Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen."3 But the more basic challenge may be to decide what to do on issues as varied and complex as global warming and stem-cell research, health care financing and financial-market regulation. Here expertise is invaluable, unavoidable — and sometimes, as the failure of the Clinton plan reminds us, perilous.

Health policy experts can do more sophisticated analyses than ever, and there are more of them than ever, too — in policy schools, departments of economics, schools of public health, think tanks, private foundations, and government. But the progress in quality of expertise has not been matched by progress in thinking about the role of the expert or about how policy advice can and should be adapted to the political realities that those receiving advice inevitably confront. Policy experts are brilliant when it comes to designing proposals but often horrible at thinking through the ways in which their proposals will be refracted through the political prism. Subtle visions of policy are wedded to crude caricatures of politics, and, not surprisingly, those visions all too often either fail to become reality or fail to work.

Worse, the expert's claim to authority can undercut the more important wellspring of democratic leadership: the demands and wishes of the people. Experts are habitually disdainful of what ordinary citizens believe. People have opinions; experts have facts. When a well-regarded economist complains that democratic policy choice should be restricted because "irrational" voters endorse all sorts of harmful nostrums — whether trade protection or farm price supports (he might have added health insurance with low deductibles, drug price controls, and free choice of doctors) — he may be out on a limb.4 But the tree is one that many policy experts climb.

Ironically, then, the failure of the Clinton administration's plan was made more, not less, likely by the amount of policy expertise poured into its design. The Clinton advisers sought the ideal policy synthesis. Though aware of political realities, they treated them as problems of policy design, to be managed within the confines of the president's blueprint rather than incorporated into a political strategy that would make the president's goals and ideals, not a 1342-page bill, the guiding light of congressional debate. And the advisers designed the proposal knowing full well that many of its elements, such as greater emphasis on tightly managed health plans, were at odds with what most of the public professed to want. That was a problem for the political consultants, who would try to figure out how to "sell" Americans on what was good for them. The result was a fiasco — and a cautionary tale about the limits of expert presidential advice in an age that demands it.

This time around, health policy advisers — whatever their formal background, and whether two-handed or more Vishnu-like — would do well to take a different tack. We badly need health care experts in the White House who offer advice based on evidence and analysis, not prejudice. But even the best experts need to know when to defer to the political process, to see the purpose of their craft as facilitating democratic debate rather than providing final answers once Americans have decided on the questions.

Winston Churchill once said that "scientists should be on tap, not on top."5 That is a good starting point. But sometimes presidential policy experts should also have the good sense to get out of the way.

Dr. Hacker reports receiving advisory board fees from Pfizer and speaking fees from America's Health Insurance Plans, both of which he reports donating to charity. No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


Source Information

Dr. Hacker is a professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley, codirector of Berkeley Law School's Center on Health, Economic, and Family Security, Berkeley, CA, and a fellow at the New America Foundation, Washington, DC.

References


President Bush discusses economy, trade. Washington, DC: The White House, May 2, 2008. (Accessed August 22, 2008, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/05/20080502-8.html.)
Melber A. Clinton surrogate compares Obama ad to Nazi march [updated]. The Nation. February 1, 2008. (Available at http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters?bid=45&pid=278988.)
Neustadt RE. Presidential power: the politics of leadership. New York: Wiley, 1960.
Caplan B. The myth of the rational voter: why democracies choose bad policies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007.
Rose N. Churchill: an unruly life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

3593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Neocons and Palin according to Buchanan on: September 16, 2008, 08:52:57 AM
Buchanan on his opinion of the neocons and their bid to influence Palin:   
   
****Will the neocons who tutored George W. Bush in the ideology he pursued to the ruin of his presidency do the same for Sarah Palin?

Should they succeed, they will destroy her. Yet, they are moving even now to capture this princess of the right and hope of the party.

In St. Paul, Palin was told to cancel a meeting with Phyllis Schlafly and pro-life conservatives. McCain's operatives said Palin had to rest for her Wednesday convention speech.

Yet, on Tuesday, Palin was behind closed doors with Joe Lieberman and officials of the Israeli lobby AIPAC. There, according to The Washington Post, Palin took and passed her oral exams.


"Palin assured the group of her strong support for Israel, of her desire to see the United States move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and of her opposition to Iran's aspirations to become a nuclear power, according to sources familiar with the meeting."

AIPAC's mission, like that of Likud, is to goad America into launching air and missile strikes on any and all Iranian nuclear facilities.

AIPAC went away happy. Purred spokesman Josh Block, "We were pleased that Gov. Palin expressed her deep personal commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel."

Heading home to Alaska to prepare for her interview with Charlie Gibson, Palin was escorted by Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy guru and, until March, a hired agent of the Tbilisi regime.

Scheunemann's lobbying assignment: Bring Georgia into NATO, so U.S. troops, like 19-year-old Track Palin, will be required to fight Russia to defend a Saakashvili regime that has paid Randy and his partner $730,000.

Reportedly, a phone conversation was held between Saakashvili and Palin, in which Palin committed herself to the territorial integrity of Georgia, though South Ossetia and Abkhazia have declared independence and been recognized by Moscow, which now has troops in both.

Also on Palin's plane was Steve Biegun, formerly of Bush's National Security Council, and Scheunemann's choice to tutor her. Of Biegun, Steven Clemens of the New American Foundation says, "He will turn her into an advocate of Cheneyism and Cheney's view of national security issues."

During her interview with Gibson, Palin often took a neocon line. Three times she said that, should Israel decide to attack Iran, the United States should not "second guess" Israel's decision or interfere.

This contradicts U.S. policy. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, has warned Israel not to attack Iran, as the United States does not want a "third front." And the Pentagon is withholding crucial weapons the Israelis want and need to carry out any such attack.

Palin also volunteered that the Russian invasion was "unprovoked," though Georgia attacked South Ossetia first. She followed up by saying that Georgia and Ukraine should be brought into NATO.

Would that mean America would have to go to war with Russia on behalf of Georgia in any new conflict, asked Gibson.

"Perhaps so," said Palin.

Scheunemann should get a fat severance check from Saakashvili for that one.

One ex-White House aide at American Enterprise Institute, asked by Tim Shipman of the Daily Telegraph if AEI sees Palin as a "project," replied: "Your word, not mine. ... But I wouldn't disagree with the sentiment. ... She's bright, and she's a blank page. She's going places, and it's worth going there with her."

In fairness to Palin, on issues like NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, her answers reflect the views of the man who chose her. She has no option at present but to follow the line laid down by Scheunemann.

But make no mistake. Sarah Palin is no neocon. She did not come by her beliefs by studying Leo Strauss. She is a traditionalist whose values are those of family, faith, community and country, not some utopian ideology.

Wasilla, Alaska, is not a natural habitat of neoconservatives.

And her unrehearsed answers to Gibson's questions reveal her natural conservatism. Asked if she agrees with the Bush Doctrine, Palin asked for clarification. "In what respect, Charlie?"

Gibson: "Do we have the right of an anticipatory self-defense?"

Yes, said Palin, "if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against (the) American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend."

Exactly. The intelligence must be legit and the threat "imminent."

Interviewed by Alaska Business Monthly in March 2007 on the surge, Palin said, "I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place."

That is not the language of empire or "benevolent global hegemony."

Palin may disappoint many conservatives in the next seven weeks by having to parrot the McCain-neocon line on NATO expansion, NAFTA and a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens. But the battle for Sarah's soul is not over.

For, again, the lady is no neocon. Nor is the husband Todd, First Dude of Alaska and former member of the "Alaska First" Independence Party.



 
3594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 15, 2008, 04:30:01 PM
Zogby electoral college - gap is closed.  Looks like the usual red vs blue map:

http://www.zogby.com/50state/
3595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interesting change in news here on: September 15, 2008, 03:51:16 PM
This contradicts a report in the JP a few days back that the US refused to deliver the bunker bustin bombs to the Israelis.

I wonder how much of a success this could be if Israel goes alone?

If only we were more energy "independent" we wouldn't have to be concerned as much about the "backlash".  We can thank the greens and their accomplices in the Democratic party (and some Cans) who refused to let us drill offshore and to pursue nuclear energy for this predicament at least in part.
3596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / McCain far more "bipartisan" than the BO man on: September 15, 2008, 03:46:17 PM
This tends to highlight BOs fraudulant claims that he is "post" partisan:

ANALYSIS:

Sen. John McCain's record of working with Democrats easily outstrips Sen. Barack Obama's efforts with Republicans, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of their legislative records.

Whether looking at bills they have led on or bills they have signed onto, Mr. McCain has reached across the aisle far more frequently and with more members than Mr. Obama since the latter came to the Senate in 2005.

In fact, by several measures, Mr. McCain has been more likely to team up with Democrats than with members of his own party. Democrats made up 55 percent of his political partners over the last two Congresses, including on the tough issues of campaign finance and global warming. For Mr. Obama, Republicans were only 13 percent of his co-sponsors during his time in the Senate, and he had his biggest bipartisan successes on noncontroversial measures, such as issuing a postage stamp in honor of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

3597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WOW! on: September 11, 2008, 03:22:04 PM
***The latest USA Today poll has Republicans up by four points on the question:
Who do you support, the Republican or the Democrat for Congress in your district?***

I must be dreaming.  grin

Although I must admit it's not like the cans deserve to win anything in the Houses this year.
To say they were a letdown is an understatement.  I don't go quite as far as Lou Dobbs but I do agree with a lot of his views at least in principal.
3598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Swift Boat" politics on: September 10, 2008, 02:18:50 PM
 
The Dems keep pushing this Swift Boat buzz line as though most Americans are upset about the questions raised about Kerry during the last campaign.  I really wonder if anyone but the choir really cares.

And now we hear comparisons of Kerry with McCain as though they are the one in the same because they both admiringly served during VietNam.   But that is where the comparison ends.  The "Swift Boating" of Kerry was not a criticism of his serving but a criticism of his coming back to the US and denigrating this country, and other service men.  McCain never did that.   Additionally Kerry also questionably got a purlple heart and some sort of recognition for bravery while he was a Senator for what sounded like a scratch.  One thing some Americans may never forgive is someone who has a history of denigrating this country and then later having the nerve to run for the Presidency.     Correct me if I am wrong but that is why Kerry lost.   And that may be why the Bama loses (if he does).   Perhaps more this than his "inexperience".



Obama accuses Republicans of 'swift boat politics'Story Highlights
NEW: Sen. John McCain's camp says Sen. Barack Obama using "schoolyard insults"

Obama slams Republicans for making people "sick and tired of politics"

McCain campaign critical of Obama's line about "lipstick on a pig"

Obama launches "Alaska Mythbusters"; McCain starts "Palin Truth Squad"

Next Article in Politics »


 Read  VIDEO
     
(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday accused Sen. John McCain's campaign of engaging in "lies" and "swift boat politics" in regard to his comment about "lipstick on a pig."

 
Sen. Barack Obama dismisses GOP criticism about his reference to "lipstick on a pig."

 1 of 2  "Spare me the phony outrage. Spare me the phony talk about change," Obama said at the start of an education event in Norfolk, Virginia.

"We have real problems in this country right now. The American people are looking to us for answers, not distractions, not diversions, not manipulations. They want real answers to the real problems we are facing.

"I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics. Enough is enough," he said, referring to how Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched attacks against Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.

Obama said the McCain campaign was doing the type of thing that makes people "sick and tired of politics."  Watch Obama dismiss "the latest made-up controversy" »

Responding to Obama's comments, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, "Barack Obama can't campaign with schoolyard insults and then try to claim outrage at the tone of the campaign.

"His talk of new politics is as empty as his campaign trail promises, and his record of bucking his party and reaching across the aisle simply doesn't exist."

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Obama's heated response came after the McCain campaign said the Democrat owes the GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, an apology for invoking an adage on the campaign trail Tuesday: "That's not change," Obama said, saying McCain's policy views were similar to President Bush's. "That's just calling something the same thing something different. You know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

McCain's campaign said Obama's remarks were offensive and a slap at Palin -- despite the fact that the senator from Arizona used the phrase last year to describe a policy proposal of Sen. Hillary Clinton's.  Watch how tensions are rising on the campaign trail »

Within minutes, the McCain campaign announced a conference call focusing on the remark, which it said was a deliberate reference to Palin's line: "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." Read more about the "lipstick" controversy

Palin used the line in the opening remarks of her acceptance speech at last week's GOP convention, and she frequently uses it on the campaign trail.

Earlier Wednesday, Obama's campaign announced it was launching "Alaska Mythbusters," a group of Alaskans that the campaign says will "set the record straight" about Palin.

Former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and Bob Weinstein, mayor of the city that would have been home to the "Bridge to Nowhere," planned to discuss Palin's record in a conference call later Wednesday.

Obama's group comes the day after McCain deployed the "Palin Truth Squad" to fight future attacks on his vice presidential nominee.

It was launched as The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Palin had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children.

The newspaper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations. The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by her predecessor, former Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Meanwhile, after Obama made his remarks criticizing Republicans, he moved on to discussing his plan for the education system. At the Virginia event, Obama repeated proposals he laid out Tuesday, which included doubling funding for charter schools and investing in early-childhood education. Read more about Obama's plan for public education

Obama has put a lot of emphasis on Virginia, a Republican stronghold he hopes to turn blue.

Obama kicked off his general election campaign in Virginia in June.

Virginia hasn't voted for a Democrat since President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, but for more than a year, Obama's campaign has cited the state's 13 electoral votes as part of its argument that he can reshuffle the electoral map this fall.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine was long considered one of Obama's top vice presidential contenders, and the state played a big role at the Democratic National Convention last month, with Kaine's predecessor, Mark Warner, delivering the keynote address.

Following his Virginia event, Obama was set to tape an appearance for the "Late Show With David Letterman" and then head to Washington to speak before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala.

Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, was in New Hampshire for a town hall meeting. New Hampshire is also a tossup state, with four electoral votes at stake.

On the Republican side McCain and Palin were in Fairfax, Virginia, for a rally.

The campaign moved the rally from a northern Virginia high school to a nearby park following complaints from some officials, who said that holding a partisan event on school grounds violated local school board policy.

However, McCain's campaign said Wednesday that the main reason for moving the event was to accommodate the demand for tickets.


3599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Bama's cracking up on: September 10, 2008, 10:44:50 AM
Well the mostt recent panicky comments from the Bama man ain't helping his case that he is ready to lead.

This is not made up.  This is not a lie.  He said it.  It came straight from HIS mouth.  This guy can't take the heat or the truth about himself.  And I don't believe a guy who calls Wright his father figure and mentor actually loves this country as much as he actually loves himself.  And that goes for Michelle too.  Now if only McCain can continue to show emotion and passion like he did in his speech and Palin doesn't mess up - the game is over.  If you asked me this before the Rep convention I would have never thought it.  It is a miracle - so far - but still have a long way to go.   As Mark Levin says - watch for the last minute political hit on Palin - that she used her influence to get a state trooper fired - he says this will be the Dems October "surprise" hit on Palin.  I don't think it will work though.

*****Obama accuses McCain camp of lies, phony outrage By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
3 minutes ago
 
NORFOLK, Va. - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday accused Republican John McCain's campaign of using "lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics" in claiming he used a sexist comment against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Calling it "the latest made-up controversy by the John McCain campaign," Obama responded to the Republicans' charge that he was referring to Palin when he used the phrase "lipstick on a pig" at a campaign stop Tuesday.

"I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics. Enough is enough," he said.

Obama's reference was to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an outside group that in 2004 made unsubstantiated allegations about Democratic nominee John Kerry's decorated military record in Vietnam.

On Tuesday, Obama criticized McCain's economic policies as similar to those of President Bush, saying: "You can put lipstick on a pig ... it's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

The McCain campaign contended that the comments were directed at Palin, the GOP's first woman on a presidential ticket. In her acceptance speech last week, she had referred to herself in a joke about lipstick being the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull.

Accusing Obama of "smearing" Palin in "offensive and disgraceful" comments, the McCain campaign demanded an apology — though McCain himself used the folksy metaphor a few times last year, including once to describe Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care plan.

The McCain campaign on Wednesday issued an Internet ad that said Obama was talking about Palin and said of Obama: "Ready to lead? No. Ready to smear? Yes."

Obama began a discussion of education at a Norfolk high school on Wednesday by assailing McCain's campaign.

"What their campaign has done this morning is the same game that has made people sick and tired of politics in this country. They seize on an innocent remark, try to take it out of context, throw up an outrageous ad because they know that it's catnip for the news media," Obama said.

Obama's campaign has accused the GOP camp of engaging in a "pathetic attempt to play the gender card." In an e-mail to reporters Wednesday, the campaign noted two other instances of McCain using the phrase "lipstick on a pig" and its use by other Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.****

___
3600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 09, 2008, 12:29:44 PM
Gotta love this.  Now we should give a hoot what the "world" thinks.  In a way I would be more likely to choose what the world does not want.  I vote for a President for my country not for the benefit of other countries.  What a joke.  Does any one else question the motives of this stuff - I believe the world wants OBama because he is weak and will cave to their wishes.  Seems simple to me.  So if anything we should not vote for him based on this.  This should be twisted around by the cans.


****World wants Obama as president: poll
Posted 4 hours 34 minutes ago

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may be struggling to nudge ahead of his Republican rival in polls at home, but people across the world want him in the White House, a BBC poll said.

All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.

In 17 of the 22 nations, people expect relations between the US and the rest of the world to improve if Senator Obama wins.

More than 22,000 people were questioned by pollster GlobeScan in countries ranging from Australia to India and across Africa, Europe and South America.

The margin in favour of Senator Obama ranged from 9 per cent in India to 82 per cent in Kenya, while an average of 49 per cent across the 22 countries preferred Senator Obama compared with 12 per cent preferring Senator McCain. Some four in 10 did not take a view.

"Large numbers of people around the world clearly like what Barack Obama represents," GlobeScan chairman Doug Miller said.

"Given how negative America's international image is at present, it is quite striking that only one in five think a McCain presidency would improve on the Bush administration's relations with the world."

In the United States, three polls taken since the Republican party convention ended on Thursday (local time) show Senator McCain with a lead of 1 to 4 percentage points - within the margin of error - and two others show the two neck-and-neck.

The countries most optimistic that an Obama presidency would improve relations were America's NATO allies, including Australia (62 per cent).

A similar BBC/Globescan poll conducted ahead of the 2004 U.S presidential election found that, of 35 countries polled, 30 would have preferred to see Democratic nominee John Kerry, rather than the incumbent George Bush, who was elected.

A total of 23,531 people in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, Britain and the United States were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone in July and August 2008 for the poll.

- Reuters****
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